Thursday, 21 September 2006

Eyeliner and girls' jeans are TOOLS OF EVIL

Whilst I should not expect any common sense or accuracy from The Daily Mail, my jaw has dropped big time at their news story about the new "Emo" craze (which gives you some idea how slow they are to catch up on these things).

I reckon my jaw is halfway to Hades, at the staggering amount of bullshit propagated in this terrible article. The full thing is here - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=400953&in_page_id=1770 - and I'd like to thank Amy for alerting me to it. You don't have read it, because I'm going to dissect it for your pleasure, or something. It'll be a change from whining about myself, anyway...

So, "one of the key looks" of current fashion "especially at the younger end of the fashion spectrum, is Goth" says professional liar Sarah Sands, who is a 'journalist' for the paper. The whole thing reads like a piece of satire in Private Eye, only more exaggeratedly false.

"Fashion acknowledges those of us who lived through it first time round - Elder Goths, as opposed to Baby Bats, who are the under-30s. It even nods to a working population, permitting Corporate Goths, who wear black trouser suits."

Right, I've heard it all now. Any work colleagues in black trouser suits? They're goths they are. The Daily Mail, that bible of happening trends, says so. Tony Blair? Goth!

"The Emos - short for Emotional - regard themselves as a cool, young sub-set of the Goths" - they may well do, but no-one else regards them as cool. They're the ones sitting on the steps outside Birmingham Central Library, getting in my way.

On the subject of self-harm, we're told that one "governor of a famous boarding school told me that it was as serious a problem as binge drinking, but rarely discussed for fear of encouraging more girls to do it". Well, good job you're not condemning the practice in the nation's second most-read newspaper then, eh?

The inaccuracy gets even more ridiculous, reaching the levels of ficticiousness you'd only hear from Iraq war apologists, or mobile phone salesmen...

"The internet has many sites dedicated to Emo fashion (dyed black hair brushed over your face, layering, black, black, black), Emo bands (Green Day, My Chemical Romance), Emo conversation (sighing, wailing, poetry)."

Green Day are an emo band? These days they're more like U2 in eyeliner, and their previous heyday - the Dookie era - while praised by almost everyone I knew, came across as a poor man's poor man's Buzzcocks tribute band. Granted, some people foolishly described them as punk rock back then, but that's closer to the mark than "emo". I believe My Chemical Romance recently declared themselves out of the genre too.

Sighing, wailing and poetry is "emo conversation"? So basically, anyone doing a Whitney Houston cover at the local karaoke bar is talking exclusively to people with layered black hair. Normal folks' ear frequencies just won't pick up the signals.

"The Instant Emo Kit site gives advice on identity. Wear a child's T-shirt with a slogan such as 'Unhappy Chick' and drive a Vespa."

At what point does this woman need to be locked up? If you wear a child's t-shirt and drive a vespa, you'll look like a homeless mod who's been raiding the skips behind Mothercare. Is that 'in' for this season?

Sarah Sands then quotes a line from a so-called "emo" song: "Don't jump around when I go to shows, I must be an Emo". By now, parents of Westlife fans will be shocked at this (although they should be shocked at their choice in 'music').

"'Stop my breathing and slit my throat, I must be an Emo". No, you must be a murder victim.

Let's get this straight - that song, which is actually called 'Emo Kids', is a piss-take AGAINST Emos. It's comedy rap, from a comedy rap duo. Here's their official MySpace page, have a listen - http://www.myspace.com/adamandandrew

Sarah then stops quoting from the tongue-in-cheek song (which she takes seriously as genuinely 'Emo', maybe she reckons Sandi Thom is the second coming of the Sex Pistols), and continues writing her bile...

"The courting of misery and death is a long-established teenage tradition. How many bedroom walls have been plastered with posters of drippy pre-Raphaelite heroines, or Marc Bolan or Kurt Curbain?" What!? Has this woman ever listened to T-Rex? Marc Bolan wasn't a doom merchant. He happened to be in a car that went into a tree, that's how he died. Hey, should all teenagers put up posters of Princess Diana?

More black-is-white-isms are in abundance. "The word femme-fatale is Goth based" - oh, not, say, FRENCH-based? Or have Goths now got a monopoly on the French language? Vous parlez beaucoup de merde, Mademoiselle Sands, vous cul enorme.

"Many of the alluring women of our time - Nigella Lawson, Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Lily Allen - have a touch of the Goth about them."

WHAT THE BLEEDING FUCK!? Hello!? Lily Allen is a bit goth? On what planet? Sophie Ellis-Bextor, gothic? And not the singer behind a cheesy-albeit-floor-filling one-hit-wonder?

I was going to say that the only thing these people have in common with "goth" is black hair, but you can't say that about Debbie Harry. Which would make Victoria Beckham, Lisa Stansfield and Cher more appropriate to fit that list of 'goths', although it resembles the female cast list for the next I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Russell Brand, we 'learn' is "is about 90 per cent Goth". Clearly this hack has just been looking at a picture in a Heat-style magazine and thought "ooh, bloke in eyeliner, that's um, very goth!"

I'm willing to bet a busful of asylum seekers with the Daily Mail, that Sarah Sands has never ever once heard Russell Brand talk or watched one of his shows. He's a massive fan of the Dirty Pretty Things (presumably a goth band to Sarah if Lily Allen has now entered the fold), plays them, The Who and Oasis on his BBC 6music radio show quite a lot.

Having now pretty much summed up an entire musical genre as inaccurately as possible (and you'd be hard pressed to deliberately trounce her article, although I will make two attempts now - Ronan Keating is a Norwegian black metal trio, and Ice T is a Venezualen children's folk choir), Sarah signs off with her 'concern' (her real concern being reaching the target word count so she can get paid for her factually-divorced article)...

"What worries me is that teenagers are less equipped to manage strong emotions and a cult of suicide could have real and horrible consequences."

Well Sarah, it could be worse. They could end up reading the Daily Mail, with its horrific slurs on immigrants (just like German newspapers did in the mid-1930s, not that I'm trying to drop a hint, mein fraulein).

But wait! I still have the most daftest quote, and I haven't mentioned it yet...

"While I loved punk for its energy, Goths were too bloodless to lift a finger."

Right, Sarah Sands there, pretending to have been associated with punk. Got that?

Now read this...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/newscomment.html?in_article_id=398677&in_page_id=1787

If those are the words of a "punk", then I'm off to wail poetry with Lily Allen outside Birmingham Central Library...

Oh, and ending on a personal note, thanks for the feedback on my last two blog articles. I've had a very good message today, no praise in it (thankfully, I don't deserve it, as I said), but from someone who did something similar and also regrets it. I've also seeked treatment, which is on its way.

These incidents have made me realise that prejudice against people with depression and/or mental health issues, is simply not on. Paul Merton, Spike Milligan, Tony Hancock - they have suffered with these things, and yet, became great great people. There are a few people I know personally who have such issues, and now I can emphasise with them.

Now that I've blogged my usual sort of article today, it doesn't mean that I'm feeling "better", I'm still the same, but trying to focus on everyday stuff, because if I lose the ability to do that, my life will be even less deserving of merit.

Do feel free to comment on the actual Emo/Goth bullshit story, as I know the feedback for my last two blog articles remained private (for fair reasons).

On the goth front, I own 'greatest hits' albums from Joy Division and The Damned. I have worn eyeliner, and I've dyed my hair black many times. I wouldn't in a million years describe myself as a "goth", but maybe the Daily Mail have me down as one, alongside Mr Benn (he wore a black trouser suit, y'know).

And isn't ironic that one of the biggest names in gothic music, Andrew Eldritch, went around with bleached blonde hair?

Thursday, 14 September 2006

Gervais - The Board Game

You rightfully sneer at those humour-free people who worship tiresome comedy catchphrases such as "Am I bovvered?" and "I'm a laydee!". Move forward one space.

Wasn't that you reprising the David Brent dance at Live8? Move back two spaces.

You get another universally-mocked faded celebrity on your show and write abusive lines for them to say, which is getting just as tiresome as the bunch of cliched catchphrases you targetted earlier. Move back five spaces.

You find one of Bernard Manning's old joke books in a skip behind the Embassy Club in Manchester. Move forward six spaces but miss your next turn while you think of ways to use the jokes in your next show in an 'ironic' context.

Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Do Not Adjust Your Set, It's Dubya

US broadcaster CNN has apologised after an speech by George W Bush was accidentally broadcast over the top of an anchorwoman's chat with a colleague.

The conversation between Kyra Phillips and another woman would have been clearly heard, but the network accidently aired live footage of Mr Bush talking to New Orleans.

During the chat, President Bush feigned concern for non-white people, and ignored the issue of his administrations' failure on environmental control.

CNN apologised to viewers and Ms Phillips, citing "audio difficulties".

The programme was broadcasting about 90 seconds of the anchorwoman's conversation during what has been described as a bathroom or hair and make-up break, but viewers also heard Mr Bush's speech live from New Orleans.

The gaffe happened when an outside broadcast team thought it apt to air the views of the neanderthal cretin, spewing false platitudes in the very city he failed to protect. This action was akin to handing round a West Midlands Police Force Benevolent Fund tin at the release party for the Birmingham Six.

CNN issued a statement apologising for the error. "We apologise to our viewers for the president making the disruption."

Monday, 14 August 2006

Science Friction

Right now we have a bunch of international astronomers gathering in the Czech Republic, to settle that age-old argument of "that Pluto, eh, is that a planet or an annoying cartoon dog?"

I'm not quite sure why you have to jet off to Prague to make this decision, although I do suspect it's to stage a pub crawl across the city. If the planet-ists make it across Charles Bridge for their final pint of Budvar, then yes, Pluto will cling on to the status its shares with Mercury, Venus, Earth, Wind and Fire.

It's a fascinating thing to hear of experienced sages reclassify things we've known all our lives. I, for one, cannot wait until this Pluto argument is sorted out, and we can have these boffins sort out more urgent matters of reclassification.

Such as Luton. I put forward the idea that this so-called "Bedfordshire town" is not a geographical 'town' in any sense, but is in fact a virus. Those who disagree with me should try spending any length of time in the wretched place.

Also, the words "Registered at the Post Office as a newspaper" will appear in The Daily Star, for reasons that have always been unclear to me. I should not need any scientist to point out the errors in that assumption, and hope that the Post Office rectify this mistake immediately.

We, the general public, are told Graham Norton is a "comedian", and not a "one trick pony who would only be funny if his testicles were wired up to the National Grid".

Scientific experts must also speak out against the popular misconception of Big Brother contestant Nikki being "entertaining" and "lovable". Granted, there is no Latin species name for "spoilt and irritating tortoise-faced gremlin with a penchant for naturally impersonating Veruca Salt at any given opportunity", but the biologist community must invent one, and insist that Heat magazine use it as a prefix to all their headlines about the whiny Baby-Jane-esque brat over the next six months.

I see so much work for the Tefal-heads. The misinformation out there is intense. The Vicar Of Dibley is a "comedy", Keane are a "rock band" and Coca-Cola Zero has a "great" "taste".

Somebody out there in Prague, please fix these things immediately. Just as soon as you've finished ogling the lapdancers at some neon-lit bar in Wenceslas Square.

Thursday, 20 July 2006

No man is an island, no man watches Love Island

Being one of those people who has worked on and off for television programmes in the past, I like to indulge in a piece of shaudenfraude every now and then at TV stations I'm no longer associated with.

The current sitting duck is ITV, and has been for the past six years. Before we fill our blunderbusses with yet more lead, let's remind ourselves that it is a barn-door-sized target, and is facing a lot of flak from the press and advertisers. It's such a huge and predictable thing to mock, that I need not bother. Why kick a man when he's down?

However, I am an evil bastard, and it's what I do. Besides, this is a myspace blog from someone sitting in his pants, and accepts that scoffing three packets of Morrisons' own brand crisps will suffice as lunch. You're not gonna get Proust here, let's face it.

So, dispensing with any pretensions towards an articulate and wittily sardonic prose that cuts into the media world, let's sum up ITV1's ratings decline with three words everyone is thinking.

ITV IS SHIT.

Yes, that's pretty much all there is to say. It really is shit. Absolute grade A fertilizer. It's wall-to-wall banality, almost as if they want to lose viewers.

With the amount of cathode-ray-tube-targetted faeces being pumped out by ITV1, I initially thought they hired Alan Partridge and Roger Melly as programme commissioners.

Obviously, this is incredibly wrong, because programme ideas such as 'Arm Wrestling With Chas And Dave' and 'Celebrity Shitbucket' would be ten times more entertaining than ITV1's current centrepiece.

In case you haven't caught it, ITV1's current televisual gem is entitled 'Well-Off People Sent To Exotic Foreign Island In Which You Can Send Money To Them Via Text Message And Premium Rate Phonelines As Aforementioned Well-Off People Moan About The Swimming Pool Being A Little Bit Cold'.

Some wags in the papers have coined the nickname 'Love Island', which is hilariously being used as though it was an official title in some quarters. Granted, it's shorter than the real title I mentioned earlier.

What's wrong with this programme then? Well, why let my foul supermarket-own-brand-crisp-tinged rantings pollute your impressionable young minds?

Here are the cold hard figures from July 19th...

4.5m [BBC1] Ten O'Clock News
2.3m [BBC2] Grumpy Old Holidays
2.2m [ITV1] Love Island
2.3m [CH4] Lost
2.4m [Five] CSI:New York

Yes, astonishingly, ITV still haven't realised that their output is so bad, that twice the amount of people would rather watch the latest results of the tit-for-tat semitic war from the middle east (Hezbollah are one up on penalties, by the way) than see the ITV1-funded antics featuring the daughter of a woman who was married to an abusive man who had his peak of fame sixteen years ago for crying on television and was last seen kicked out of a job at a struggling Conference football club.

Whilst it's all very easy to sneer at 'Love Island', we must applaud it for an excellent breakthrough in the science of languages and lexicon.

It's because of 'Love Island' that professional linguists have been teamed up with graphic designers to create a new western alphabet with 2,493 new characters, to be tacked on the end of those tawdry and 'tired-looking' 26 we currently use.

The final, and 2,519th letter is known as "kloom" (phonetic sound: "klwah"). It looks like the letter F turned 90 degrees, but with three new left serifs and the figure of Roger Moore standing behind it in a pose not unlike that energetic bit of the Macerena dance. Ah, you'll know what I mean when you order a new keyboard. (I believe it's a combination of CTRL, ALT, SHIFT and new letter "smrudge".)

Why? Well, you see, the letter 'Z' isn't up to the purpose of describing the absolute nothingness of these people's alleged 'fame' in the context of "[insert-lowly-comedy-letter-here]-list celeb". (I feel guilty for only using one set of inverted commas there - can that team come up with some new punctuation that would convey appropriate contempt at the millennia of light years away that Gazza's ex-wife's daughter's cousin's uncle's niece is away from anything approaching genuine fame?)

Many years ago, my father pointed out a man in a cafe, having recognised him as an actor who played a hotel manager in an episode of 'Some Mothers Do 'Ave Em'. He even went up to him, and asked him what he was up to these days. No irony or anything! It got worse. Shame-facedly, I was brought up to meet him too. Now, bless his socks, that man isn't actually bad or evil or anything, he was just a glorified extra in a 1970s sitcom, and he knew it. I think he looked as bewildered as I did, when he was 'spotted'.

What's my point here? Well, that man is about a thousand times more famous than any of those... people... on 'Love Island', put together.

Hell, I am more famous than them. I was in the audience for Chris-Evans-produced flop '18 Stone Of Idiot', and I had my name read out on BBC local radio last week. If anything, I should have my own ITV-branded digital channel, such is the way I am an interstellar uber-Elvis compared to the camera-hungry plankton currently playing out to no-one and his dog.

Can you believe that the channel that gave us Death On The Rock, Death Of A Princess, and the almighty Tiswas, is now paying actual cash for Kloom-list celebs to have a free holiday?

Why is this formerly mainstream broadcaster paying money for these people to have a holiday at the expense of the advertisers? Good hard-working honest companies, of the likes of Ocean Finance, do not need to see their ad budgets frittered away by someone-who-was-in-Hollyoaks-for-ten-minutes being flown to Fuji for a few weeks and then flown back to Britain. It wouldn't be so much a problem if the latter flight didn't happen.

"Ah, but Pete", you say. "You are being unduly harsh on a station now in a multi-channel environment", at which point I'll nod. "And for fuck's sake, put some trousers on, your potato sacks are all on display you slob", at which point I'll castigate you and flick the V-sign. "Okay, okay," you'll say, "getting back on the subject, what would YOU do about it?".

Well, the answer is quite simple. Given that 'Well-Off People Sent To Exotic Foreign Island In Which You Can Send Money To Them Via Text Message And Premium Rate Phonelines As Aforementioned Well-Off People Moan About The Swimming Pool Being A Little Bit Cold' is being tanked in the ratings by non-celebrity plain-vanilla common-or-garden now-in-its-seventh-year Big Brother, the answer is in us, the general public.

I certainly have some people in mind. Yes, the remaining viewers of 'Love Island', who can be found here on the interweb.

The interweb does attract some pretty strange freaks. When you realise that menwholooklikekennyrogers.com is an actual website, and that someone somewhere saw fit to create a fetish portal based on the concept of "Girls Custard-Pied While Wearing White Jeans", you know you'll find all kinds of wierdos. Like that loud-mouthed canine-hating trouserless prick on myspace with his six-year-old "look at me, I went to New York once" photo on his profile.

And so, the interweb, the one medium where man is truly without shame, we have the Official Love Island forums, where the output of the forum participants is 24-carat comedy gold.

It is, I propose, that these people - not the Kloom-listers - that should be the real stars of ITV1. Hell, let them run the channel. Why? I'll tell you why...

All of the following quotes are completely real. All of the following quotes are taken from just one thread (which shows how unintentionally funny the entire place is). All of the quotes are on the subject of 'Love Islands' ratings woes. Read on...

"Perhaps scheduling it away from the BBC news will help" says 'George Formby', who gives us the insight that the kind of person who wants to watch an ex-Hollyoaks actor sitting round a pool is being driven away by in-depth coverage of the politically-motivated Lebanon air-strikes.

"nothing to do with bb as that is rubbish this year, i personally think its the stopping for the news that is putting people off and no red button." - 'whatever', who fails to realise that Big Brother has 2-3 times the amount of viewers of 'Love Island' on any given night, thus his argument is that is own choice of viewing is at least 200 percent "rubbish".

"Why don't they move the news to ITV4?" suggests 'Rich Flair', who may already be on the ITV payroll with a comment like that.

"y don't dey get da luv islanders 2 read da news? dat way we get da best of both worldes and more viewers." - James Stoker, afflicted with Nine-Year-Old-Chav-Writing-A-Text-Message Syndrome.

Actually, why don't we go one better and have James Stoker reading the news? Lord knows we need cheering up. I can picture it now - "yo dis is da news type thing, and like, dere's been really hot weather, but I is not sayin' like that da weather is stolen, I is saying dat da weather is like really hot, ya know, and by the way dere's been some heavy shit going on in da middle east wid all dem arabs and whatever the other dudes are, sikhs or hindus or summat."

"gonna give up on this programme. everybody is making fun of it and saying people who watch it is sad with no life and with low IQ, you no not very bright. I dont want that reputation. even the sun r saying pp who watch love island r thick. its not fare. everybody is saying we r thick, they shud try wotching the show" - 'ohtheshame'. This is beyond parody.

"The Daily Sport might cover it." - 'Theeditor'. Yes, unwanted newspapers are often used to soak up piles of vomit, so this is not a radical change in purpose.

"I need a broadsheet to cover all my shitty stuff." - says 'Richflair', and I include it, only for another response from my favourite poster...

"i dont undustand wot some pp r saying on here. wot is a brodsheet" - 'ohtheshame', yes, the very one who said it was "not fare" that "who watch love island r thick".

Thursday, 1 June 2006

"Look, I put a pit bull terrier next to a baby and took a photo!"

MySpace is commonly abused by the hard-of-thinking for many ill-advised agendas. Like that crap folk singer who sings about the previously unknown concept of flower-donning punk rockers (surely the most lyrically incorrect hit since Alanis Morrisette's 'Ironic', and similarly annoying). Oh, and missing persons alerts, virus warnings, etc, which nobody ever seems to check to see if they're genuine. The potentials for a hoax are enormous.

If that weren't bad enough, there's the ever-increasing presence of "this MySpace user was killed a few days ago" messages, which sparked off from a genuine incident, although, to be honest, why not just leave the grieving to friends and families of the bereaved?

Today I have witnessed what is quite possibly the most retarded political petition ever.

Unknown to me, it appears that a mayor in California wants to pass a law that would require all pit-bull terrier dogs to be put down. Lovely stuff. I obviously don't live in California, and it'll never affect me, so I'd love to sign a petition in favour of ridding the world of these nuisance animals.

Unfortunately, the message came to me via a bulletin in which we were asked to pledge support AGAINST this new law. Which is never going to get my support, I'm a cat person. You don't get cats humping your leg, they don't chew the furniture, and they don't constantly bug you. Oh, and they know where to defecate. Canines always seem to be missing a few brain cells, social skills and a hygiene element.

Now, some schmuck has set up a website trying to gain sympathy for their luvvly cuddly ickle cootsy wootsy killer dogs' plight. The website - www.sorryagain.com - invites owners of dangerous dogs to send in photos of their pet, with the stipulation that there should be a caption mentioning the word "SORRY", as if the dog is apologising for the reputation it has.

The bulletin came to me with various images from the site, clearly made by people with the creative skills of a wet moth. I don't condone computer viruses normally, but if there was one to wipe out MS Paint on people's PCs, it'd get my support.

Tugging at the heart-strings, plenty of these photos showed treasured pets positioned conveniently next to the owners, and in some cases, small children and babies. Yes, great idea guys, get a potentially lethal animal and stick it next to a baby.

Still going for your hearts, the campaign site photos usually have the dog in a calm sedate pose, and gaining bonus points for being wide-eyed like a cutesy wutesy Japanese cartoon character. Aw! It's a sweet ickle pit bull! It means no-one any harm!

This is the kind of schmaltzy crud I'm on about...

I don't know about you, but anyone who places a deadly animal next to a baby is asking to be dressed in the next season's Strait-jacket Collection by Westwood.

Now, don't get me wrong. Not all pit-bull terriers are vicious cold-hearted killers. In fact, I work in an office with one that often wonders in, and it's really gentle, it's like a cat, only with very poor hygiene and an attention seeking complex.

Would I want to see them all destroyed? Not quite. I do have to question the sanity of whoever breeds or buys them, as, objectively, these are potentially killer animals - what is the point of owning one? I think it's small penis syndrome, like gun-owning nutters. You don't need it, but it makes you look hard! Yeah! Isn't that cool?

As I speak, the poor ickle doggy-woggy bulletin is winging round MySpace, being forwarded on by very naive folks. (I must say goodbye to the two people who have deleted me from their friends list due to objecting to babies being placed next to killer dogs, how nasty of me.)

The website continues to invite pit-bull-related pictures for display on their site.

Well, I do have a picture for their campaign and anybody who agrees with it. Just two seconds in Google, a hit of my PrtScrn button, and I have this...

Yep, just reinforcing the point that these dogs aren't that innocent at all. I do speak from experience - a schoolfriend was scarred for life across his body after his dog turned on him.

"Oh, but he must have been taunting him, pit-bulls do that when under attack" is a common excuse used by the defenders of dangerous dogs, which I've seen on web forums where the proposed California law is under fire. Well, in this case, no. What brought it on was hot weather. Just that, nothing else. Think about that if you're currently setting up your Kodak to get a nice piccy of Tyson sitting next to Junior.

Now, where does this madness end? What is the point in owning any breed of dangerous dog? They don't make you tough. They are tough, not the owner. Why not just get a normal dog? Far more photogenic, and the baby-savaging rates are quite low.

Better still, get a cat. Cats are the dogs bollocks, if you excuse the irony.

Hang on, I feel a change of heart. I'm thinking of starting a new crusade, with the aim to be even more absurd and moronic than sorryagain.com. Are you ready for this?

savemyhungrytiger.com

I'm gonna buy me a tiger, starve it for three days, and let it out in the streets for walkies. When the authorities turn up to destroy it, I'll be on the internet as quick as a flash, (because online petitions are highly respected and always work) uploading photos of my tiger sitting next to a two year old toddler.

Maybe I should take the photos seperately, and Photoshop them together later. He's starting to lick his lips...

Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Politician found to be incompetant shocker!

Isn't it amusing to hear a detestable loathsome cretin act all pious and criticise us all, only for them to have some disgusting secret which will eventually be made public. I have come across such people in my life, but while there's no national recognition for the shameful oafs I've embarrassed (and am about to embarrass soon), we'll have to settle for Charles Clarke.

Charles Clarke is a member of the Labour Party, which makes him a full-time professional tosser. In fact, he's a cabinet minister, so a very high-ranking tosser indeed. Come to think of it, he's the chappy pressing for ID cards to be made compulsory for us Brits, because of the "war on terrrrrrism" invented by George Walker Bush, president of the 'Land Of The Free' (where they execute the mentally ill, and homosexuality is still outlawed in four states).

Despite the fact that 9/11 occurred in an ID-card-filled country, and that Spain had ID cards well before the Madrid train bombing took place, Mr Clarke still thinks they are useful devices. Well, maybe they would be if it weren't for the fact that they'll be created with information from our existing databases, already filled with bogus entries, and are hardly like to deter any terrorist.

PC: "Excuse me, what are you doing with that rucksack?"

Terrorist: "You filthy pig-dog westerner, I am going to blow up a bomb in Trafalgar Square, killing loads of non-believers, their blood will fuel our cause, Allah be praised!"

PC: "Er, do you have an ID card on you?"

Terrorist: "Er, come to think of it, no."

PC: "Right, go home son."

Terrorist: "Okay. Sorry to have bothered you."

Fittingly, parts of our media have exposed the folly of ID cards, and also the rather disgusting bully-boy actions of the US administration over their "mission of peace" (er, an illegal military invasion) to two third-world countries (verdict: not a lot of peace going on there at the moment, must try harder, 'World Superpower').

Mr Clarke, being a world class tosser doesn't like this one bit. Here's what he said last week on the media: "As these descriptions and language are used, the truth just flies out of the window, as does any adherence to professional journalistic standards or any requirement to examine the facts and check them with rigour ... "

Well, well, I guess we must get on fact-checking and ensuring jobs are carried out with the utmost professionalism then.

With that out of the way, I'll end this entry with an update from BBC News.

The home secretary says he "regrets" that 1,023 foreign prisoners have been allowed to walk free when they were meant to be considered for deportation.

They include three murderers and nine rapists, Home Office figures show.

Charles Clarke said he could not say "hand on heart" that they would all be tracked down but said he did not think it was a "resigning matter".

Monday, 3 April 2006

Don't offend my new found religious beliefs

Despite massive poverty in their country, the Pakistan authorities have a strange idea of priority.

The Pakistan government are "seeking an internationally applicable law against blasphemy", says BBC News, based on their outrage against websites that have been inviting people to draw cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.

Hmm, that's an interesting idea, but falls flat as the basis that we are all Muslims, is somewhat false. Therefore someone drawing a picture of Mohammed rolling in pig faeces would not be blasphemy to me.

Every day I thank God I'm an agnostic. I don't have to put up with the bullshit of some book written thousands of years ago. I don't have to have dumb superstitions about contraception. I can eat crawfish if I want to do so. I even say hello to gay people.

Why is it that people who claim belief in religion try and stop my rights? A few years ago, some total moron working in a chemists decided not to sell the morning-after pill to someone because they (the worker that is) were Catholic. That's right, not the customer - this guy was putting his religious beliefs onto other people. It was the only chemists open at the time, too. Scum bag.

"Oh, but Peter", some of you may whine, "that's what he believes, he should be allowed to do that". Fine, as long as he accepts a deservedly given P45. If you're working in a chemists, you have to expect to serve contraception to people, yes, people who somehow have chosen not to share your narrow-minded religious belief. He picked the job, he should know what comes with it.

So there's no need to drag religion into anything, especially when you consider almost all the major religions have, in their holy books, policies encouraging all or any of the following:

* Male superiority.
* Homophobia.
* Forced marriages.
* Slavery.
* Discrimination against non-believers

The last thing the world needs is more religious law. "Blasphemy" is a pretend offence. It's about as valid as crying over someone telling you that Santa Claus isn't real. (Actually, come to think of it, there's more evidence for Santa Claus being real than there is for any "god" of a major religion being real. Apologies to any Claus-ites out there.)

Still, if we are going to have a religion or religions protected by international law, then we need to include the one me and my friends invented a few years ago down the pub.

We are the Church of Gary Wilmot. We are the best religion because:

* None of our preachers have interfered with small children, so we're better than the Catholic church.
* We're not involved with the bigoted Ian Paisley at all, so we've risen above Protestants..
* We can pick up that weekend overtime pay, so that places us above Judaism.
* We won't force you marry anyone, so we've eclipsed Hinduism.
* Your property is yours, let's face it, and thus, we're above Buddhism.
* Here, have some blood transfusions. We score over Jehovah's Witnesses.
* We couldn't give a damn about what two consenting adults do in private as long as no-one is harmed, this gives us wins over all branches of Christianity and Islam.
* The existence of our god is actually provable, quite a novelty for any religion these days. We've eclipsed all the others!

As a founder of this religion, I'd like to add in some rules however. Rules forcing everyone to make fun of religious icons (yes, even our own, to be fair, that Wilmot is asking for it), use contraceptives and to drink beer daily.

By default, followers of most other religions will cause blasphemy against us if they go about their beliefs, so we can file suit against them. And wipe out every other religion by the power of the lawyer!

Hell yes! I never thought I'd say something positive about lawyers.

And here concludes the most offensive blog entry I've ever written. Not that it's offensive to me, but hey, if you need an imaginary friend to tell you what to do, that's your problem.

Thursday, 9 March 2006

Stuck between soft rock and a hard choice

"It's just Spinal Tap isn't it? It's just a lark. I'm not sure they think so, though. I think they take it seriously. They made a little splash in the US but, man I don't get it at all."

This was a comment made against novelty joke rock band The Darkness. Whilst I'm all for mocking the pretensions of Justin Hawkins, there is one problem with the above quote. It's made by Jon Bon Jovi. A hairspray queen who has made a career out of singing the same song for two decades, and it's not even a good song.

I'm still baffled at the decision to degrade Spinal Tap too. As if Bon Jovi are above that! Face it, they're a boy band that happen to hold guitars, and make 'music' for housewives.

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Foxtrot, Oscars

I continue spewing my thoughts onto the interweb with a vague attempt at being topical, because it sure beats dullard blogs that tell you "I had a cheese sandwich for lunch at work today".

UN estimates show how catastrophic the proportion of seriously uninteresting blogs are. 31ill be on the subject of having a bad day at work. 12ill inform you of the colour the author is painting their room. 9ill be a report of meeting a famous celebrity, but it'll turn out to be an apocryphal account from a friend of a friend who read it on Popbitch anyway.

Right, we've just had the Oscars, have we not, and a bunch of media luvvies are in a tis over some gay cowboy movie that triumphed at Sundance, failing to do well at the Oscars. This despite the fact that many years ago, South Park well and truly ripped the piss out of Sundance because every movie in it was about gay cowboys. Hey, Hollywood, get some original ideas.

And with that, here is another buckletload of my opinion, that relates to the film industry. The ten most important films of all time. Not necessarily the best, or technically outstanding. Just ones that are significant to me. And what matters to me, will matter to you. Because I say so.

10) DIGBY, THE BIGGEST DOG IN THE WORLD
Was this really on at the cinemas? A wacky Jim Dale 'romp' which sees the family pet, well, the title gives it away, doesn't it? Could be filling the gaps in any bank holiday schedule back in the days when ITV was a patchwork of wildly varying companies. Anglia would stick this on one week, and you would find it on the next, if you could pick up Central (or "ATV" as we say in the old money).

9) WATERSHIP DOWN
Children's cartoons are there to entertain us with falling anvils and acme bird seed, are they not? Well, this is a strange tale of some rabbits on a farm. For a children's feature, it took the genuinely eerie step of highlighting death. Depicted by mangy rabbit corpses. And a dark disembodied scarlet-eyed rabbit head 'ghost'. If that wasn't frightening enough, you had to contend with Simon and Garfunkel providing the sound track.

8) CARRY ON ABROAD
An introduction to holidaying stereotypes via this almost satirical look at the 70s boom in Spanish package holidays. Rather out of form for Carry On to have Charles Hawtry NOT playing the ambiguously gay character, and so it languishes at this lowly spot in the chart. Would have been further down still, if it were not for Peter Butterworth's comedy-foreigner character calling Stuart Farquar (Kenneth Williams) "Mr Farty-Arse".

7) BUGSY MALONE
I despise musicals. They're all crap. Except for three of them. This one decided to go with an all-child cast, set in the context of America's prohibition era of the 1920s. The really surreal twist is that all the gangsters use gunge and cream pies, which are fatal to anyone on the receiving end. A good job that universe didn't have Tiswas then, that'd be a live weekly massacre broadcast to the nation. Still, you have to admire the reasoning - you can't have real blood and gore mixed with children. Bonnie Langford was in this. Now that she's old enough, I'll get my gun.

6) GHOSTBUSTERS
"But you can't see that, it'll scare you", said my ill-informed mum in 1984, not realising that 1) this is a comedy and 2) any idea of ghosts 'succeeding' is obviously quashed by the film's title. About eight years later, I did get to see, as afternoon filler on the telly. I liked it. I bought the DVD. I even bought the DVD to the sequel. Oh dear.

5) GREASE
The only other musical in this list. "But Pete", I hear my audience of one reader cry, "you said you liked three musicals". Well, yes. The remaining one is the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and that appears to be set-up to parody 50s horror b-movies. Thing is, that's a subject that has been parodied many many times since. By the time I actually got round to watching Rocky Horror, I couldn't see what the fuss was about. Hence it doesn't appear in this top tne. Richard O'Brien's good though, and Meatloaf gets killed, so those are two positive factors about the film. The crossdressing/lingerie idea is a bit fun, but I suspect it's the major thing that this film has a cult following - lots of repressed folk wanting to put on fishnets. That's wrong, because 1) fishnets are damned itchy and 2) I have been associating fishnets, and indeed, suspender belts, with speeded-up chase sequences from Benny Hill. Hence not even the hottest FHM model will do anything for me when they're in such items. Oh yes, back to Grease - damned catchy tunes and a plotline that eight-year-old me could follow. Just. American Graffiti is better though.

4) CARRY ON CAMPING
Best Carry On film ever. It's Charles Hawtry announcing his name as "Muggins, Charles Muggins". The unrivalled double-act of Sid James and Bernard Bresslaw as the sleaze-merchant and accident-prone hanger-on. Their prudish girlfriends. Peter Butterworth saying "paahnd". I won't mention THAT bit with Barbara Windsor, it's overrated.

3) MONTY PYTHON'S QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL
"How do you know he's a king then?"
"He's not covered in shit"

2) THREADS
Stick yer Exorcist, yer Omen, yer Amityville, yer Friday the 13th, yer Evil Dead... this is genuinely the most scariest film ever, because of the possibility of it being real. It's a BBC-funded project, that followed the realistic aftermath had a nuclear bomb got dropped on Sheffield in the mid-80s. Those were the days, with a crazy extreme-right-wing American president who believed in military might no matter how many innocent people could be in the firing line. Thank goodness things aren't like that any more...

1) MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN
"Python is Satan" said one placard waved by a handful of Christian fundamentalists who wanted this film banned, not realising that it actually says nothing against Jesus Christ or Christianity, but in fact pokes fun at followers of religion who get it wrong. As well as pissing off people who worry about coveting their neighbour's oxon (never bothered me, my neighbour's got a bloody terrific ox, and I'm not ashamed to admit that), this is the only comedy film where every gag generates a belly-laugh. Not even Airplane gets me laughing as much as this film. The timing is flawless, the satire is heavy while being incredibily subtle, and it's thankfully low on catchphrase-based humour, so because it doesn't generate "Ni! Ni! Ni!" from pub bores when you mention it, this is why it marginally beats '....Holy Grail'.

And none of these films won an Oscar. Titanic and Gladiator did.

Foxtrot Oscars.

Thursday, 23 February 2006

Smack My Brits Up

Like a geography teacher dancing at a sixth form disco, there's nothing as amusing as someone terminally uncool trying their damnedest to be hip. Here in the UK, we have a national institution dedicated to such an endeavour. It's called the Brit Awards, organised by the BPI. The mere handful of people over the age of 12 who do sit up and value this ceremony of giving meaningless tokens to meaningless acts confirm that Darwin's theory remains unproven.

In any case, I should be getting a bit of flak, because it's been over a week since the Brit Awards occurred. A whole seven days! That's the average career-span of a typical boy band these days. Sorry for being late with this one.

Every year, the record market shrinks ever more, thanks to people within the BPI insisting on daft chart regulation. We used to get four tracks on a CD single, but in the late 90s, the industry kow-towed to demands by manufactured pop acts into setting the maximum amount of tracks to three. And these pillocks wonder why they're not selling records any more.

Let's focus on one BPI member - former WEA chief John Reid, who once signed someone to a 500,000 five-album deal, stating "he is very talented singer and fans will buy his records because of that".

That 'singer' was Craig Phillips, a member of the public who won a reality show. He did have a single out, it flopped. Not really surprising, as Craig admitted to the press "I've never sung in the bath, let alone a recording studio".

Still, in 2002, the BPI saw fit to elect Mr Reid to their council. So now have a little insight into who actually votes for these Brit Awards. I'm not sure what substance was in the coffee that night at the BPI's AGM, but perhaps the management were having a laugh in deciding to have this failure of a man on board. He could be there for comic relief, alongside that Decca official who famously said "four-piece guitar bands are out, Mr Epstein".

You only need to see the headless-chicken-like panic at the way the recording industries are worried about MP3s. These emporers lauded it about with their new clothes for ages, and the public took the right stance by telling them where to stick their overpriced CDs. As this battle raged on, I recall one Sony executive in a newspaper making a statement as to why record labels were necessary. "We have invested in talent," said this exec, "such as Big Brothas". If you're saying "who?", don't worry. Like the failure of Craig Phillips to be the next, well, anything, the phrase 'Big Brother' does not tie in with music.

Lest we forget, let's take a look at some of the past winners of Brit Awards. These are all genuine, and more's the pity...

1987
British Group: Five Star
Around this time, the band were on a phone-in on children's Saturday morning show Going Live, where one child caller asked the band "Why are you so fucking crap?". Clearly a rhetorical question.

1988
British Single: Rick Astley "Never Gonna Give You Up"
"Can't sing, can't play, can't dance... you'll go far!" went the pseudo-witty Kit-Kit TV commercial of the time. What they should have said was "can't sing, can't play, can't dance, you're Rick Astley, that dignity-divorced arse-monkey".

British Producer: Stock/Aitken/Waterman
"Oh, we hated them at the time, but now it's all so good" say so many 'post-ironic' pundits. No. No, no, no. They were shit then. They are shit now. They will always be shit. Apply this to the Take That reunion, the Spice Girls, Vanilla Ice, etc. Cheese has a sell-by date for a reason.

British Breakthrough Act: Wet Wet Wet
People will argue about musical tastes 'til the end of time, the fools, not realising that my taste remains the best on the planet. Whilst indie kids will moan at R&B/urban (oblivious to the excellent output from Outkast, Beyonce, Blackstreet, Aaliyah, etc), and chavs will sneer at rock/metal/punk (ignorant to the passionate rage of The Clash, Deftones, Dead Kennedys, Sex Pistols, etc), there is one musical genre that is total excrement through and through. That is LOVE SONGS. Crooners who sing about love - why? They aren't singing that because they are in love, they're doing it for the money. Look at the most prolific of them - Phil Collins and Chris De Burgh. Both cheated on their wives. Proof that romantic music has about as much sincerity as day-old plastic bucket of petrol garage forecourt flowers. I'm supposed to be focussing on Wet Wet Wet here, and I am unaware of any polygamous goings on from their chief warbler Marti Pellow. But then, that's not surprising, it is Marti Pellow after all.

1989
British Male Solo Artist: Phil Collins
Around the time he had that hit 'Another Day In Paradise' that purported to be about the suffering of Britain's homeless. That juxtapositioned itself well with Phil's public adoration of the then Conservative government.

British Breakthrough Act: Bros
Picking on Bros would be like punching a baby. Well, twin babies at least. Clad in denim. With Grolsch bottle tops on their trainers. And singing "Oooh-yeah" in an attempting-to-be-macho-but-coming-out-really-camp voice that has only been topped by Will Young. Sod it, let's roll up the sleeves.

1991
International Breakthrough Act: MC Hammer
The 20th Century's answer to Nelly.

1993
British Breakthrough Act: Tasmin Archer
Known only for two things. 1) The chart hit 'Sleeping Satellite'. 2) Being a target of a surreal 'celebrity badger' running gag by Harry Hill. I have made that list in reverse order.

1995
International Breakthrough Act: Lisa Loeb
An old joke: "How do you confuse an idiot? Fish!". The gag achieves its aims to most people, I guess, but if you do have a fetish for seeing people confused, simply ask them the title of Lisa Loeb's second chart hit.

British Dance Act: M People
The post-rave fallout, the rise of house superclubs, the DJ culture, the Prodigy winning over rock-orientated festivals with a hybrid of critically acclaimed sound, The Chemical Brothers' first steps towards a decade of chart limelight, the seeds of Big Beat being sown, the explosion of Ibiza, yes, that was Britain's globally-important dance music scene in 1995. So let's give the award to a hotel cabaret act with a female singer who sounds like a man with his testicles in a vice.

British Breakthrough Act: Oasis
I'm not knocking Oasis here, I raise this point to highlight the ineptitude of the Brit awards - that typical policy they have of placing votes against bands already made very popular in the past 12 months. The surefire bet, all done at the expense of being a exponent of risk-taking cutting-edge talent. Arctic Monkeys won an award this year, great band, but you know the Brit committee just looked at their headlines rather than listen to their album. The Brits - voted for by Heat magazine. Probably.

1997
International Breakthrough Act: Robert Miles
A man who created a plinky-plonky piano house-lite annoyance, called it music, and got a hit with it. He then did this again, about two or three times with the notes slightly rearranged.

British Female Solo Artist: Gabrielle
It's 1997. I am Princess Diana, and Gabrielle is a Paris underpass pillar. Resultant metaphor: Gabrielle goes right through me.

1998
British Female Solo Artist: Shola Ama
Quirky fact! Peter Townshend and Roger Daltry really won this Best Female Solo Artist award. Well, it seemed like it to me, because I'm pretty damned certain that as this no-mark Shola Ama walked towards the stage, the audience were shouting "WHO!?".

1999
Freddie Mercury Award: Jubilee 2000
An award not seen since, er, 1999. And in case you're wondering, "Jubilee 2000" was a campaign to get big western nations to cancel the debt of third world nations. I saw Geldof taking notes. Meanwhile, it's 2006. Britain gets 1.1billion a year from poor nations that owe money to it.

British Female Solo Artist: Des'ree
"Life! Oh, life! Doo-do-doo!" screeched soul harpy Des'ree. Ironic really, hearing her using the word "life" so many times instigated a sucidal tendencies.

British Male Solo Artist: Rodney Williams
Where the emporer picked up his new clothes...

2000
Outstanding Contribution: Spice Girls
Do I even have to add a comment to this?

International Female: Macy Gray
Thankfully, ths one's fallen off the radar. Seems like the chart-buying public got tired of this professional Marge Simpson impersonator.

Pop Act: Five
Granted, pop music in the noughties is going to carry more excrement than a nursing-home duvet, and I suppose I shouldn't be picking on it that much. I'd try to say something nice about Britain's premier 'unconvincing-thug' boy band Five, but all I can come up with is that they are not Daphne and Celeste.

British Album: Travis "The Man Who"
Twelve years after winning their first Brit, too! A canny idea for Marti and the boys to rename their band to Travis, and continue putting out the same bland monotonous dirges. Record shops mistakenly placed this stuff in the "indie" section. Yes, what cutting edge stuff we have here. A song about a piece of wood, well done guys. And then using the word "turn" many many times in place of meaningful lyrics, and titling the resulting blandfest with that word. A feat they repeated in 2001 with "Sing". Let's not forget how this antithesis-to-all-that-is-Clash made their mark either, with their anthem that goes "Why does it always rain on me, is it because I lied when I was 17?", which completely ignores the issues of atmospheric fronts and the water cycle, much like the band have ignored the issues of soul, punk rock, energy-injected tunes and stabbing Embrace in their faces instead of emulating them.

2001
British Female Solo Artist: Sonique
Songs can be like buses. Take the justifiably-forgotten Sonique. She waited ages for a hit, got three at once. And just like buses, her hits didn't sound at all pleasant, were overpriced, and regularly took shortcuts to complete the stop quota at Willesden Green. Er, scrub that last one.

British Breakthrough Act: A1
Jesus weeping on a bicycle! They've applied the term "breakthrough" to a boy band that impersonate a third rate Take That tribute band, minus Rodney, Mark, Howard and Jason.

2002
British Female Solo Artist: Dido
This 'singer' has a relative in Faithless, the band that produced Insomnia. Dido herself takes a contrary role to that. Within a mere minute of hearing her dull-as-porridge ballads, Insomnia is completely cured.

2003
British Urban Act: Ms Dynamite
Ah, the anti-war celebrity who recently started a fight. It's no surprise that this person is billed as a cutting-edge passionate and talented singer, yet turns out not to be so. Dynamite blows.

2004
British Urban Act: Lemar
It is decreed by the British music industry that some runner-up of a reality TV show is better than the Streets. Given what I said above about one of the judges having been responsible for giving a Big Brother winner a 500,000 five-album deal, I was expecting Nadia's single to elevate him/her to Outstanding Contribution To Music status. That didn't happen, but I did get told that 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' winner Kerry Katona once had a record deal for some reason or other, singing with two other reality TV show contestants.

2005
British Breakthrough Act: Keane
Did these Coldplay-wannabes ever turn up to pick up their award? It'd be pushing it gone 8pm, well past their bedtime.

BRITs25 - The Best Song Award: Rodney Williams - "Angels"
An award dedicated to the past 25 years of British music, with the obvious intent in avoiding the cliche of Bohemian Rhapsody or Imagine when it comes to asking the public what their favourite song is. And the British public need taking out with a crossbow, for choosing this overrated dirge as the best thing from two and a half decades of music! It was up against Joy Division's ':Love Will Tear Us Apart' and Kate Bush's 'Wuthering Heights'! Where's your taste, UK? This slushy ballad has as much genuine sentiment as an Asda 8p Valentine's card. One that's fallen from the shelf, too. With several footprints on it. Handed to your loved one in November. Christ, it's not even Rodney's best song! (Not that picking his best song would be a pleasant task - it's like having a beauty contest on a leper colony.)

British Single: Will Young "Your Game"
Will has fought hard for his success in the charts, scraping his way to the top by only having the support of a prime-time television series and a multi-millionaire record chief.

At the first awards, things were very interesting. The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was awarded best British Album, and the Fab Four themselves (John, George, Ringo and the other one) won best British Group. Only one problem, this was the year 1977, a full decade after the album was released, and quite a while after the Beatles had split up. Fitting in with this glorious inconstistency was Queen winning best British single for their 1975 hit Bohemian Rhapsody.

The final item I must note from that very first awards ceremony, is that Richard Burton won something for best "non-musical record". I'm surprised they haven't brought this back for this year. James Blunt gets my vote for that.

Wednesday, 15 February 2006

Fags for the memory

"Typical nanny state", yelled one smoker yesterday. Actually, substitute 'wheezed' for 'yelled', because that was the state this guys' lungs were in. Not that I'm mocking the afflicted, oh no, I'm just mocking the chemically addicted.

Yes, by summer 2007, pubs and clubs in England and Wales won't allow smoking. Already, there are phlegms of disgust across the nation.

Normally, I'd be on the side of those ranting against the government's latest plan to tell people what to do. The argument at first sounds rational. Why shouldn't smokers continue as they are? Why is Tony taking away their right to enjoy a cigarette? They know it's unhealthy and they've made the choice to continue that habit, much like beer drinkers and people who nick chips off your plate. There's much muttering of 'civil liberties' and 'human rights', but hold on, I don't think the smokers can see the wood for the trees. Probably because there's too much haze emanating from their Silk Cut. I think it's time to address a few smokers' cliches.

"Wot about drinking and junk food? That's bad for you too, but you don't see the government cracking down on that."

When I make the choice to scoff down a mustard-laden hot dog, or quaff a Guinness, it's purely me who is consuming that, no-one else. My messy eating habits would have to escalate to the point where I look like an epileptic on Tiswas before anyone else gets my grub in their gob.

The same is not true of cigarette smoke. When there's a smoker next to me, I'm having a cigarette, whether I want to or not. The audacity of the complaining smokers in the newspapers this week makes me wonder if they'll start charging me for quaffing a portion of their John Cancer Specials.

"We pay proportionately more than non-smokers for the NHS through the cigaratte taxes"

Yes, indeed you do. And you'll be needing the NHS proportionately more than non-smokers too. Still, it's your choice to effectively burn a five pound note every day.

"It's for my nerves, I can't get through the day without one!"

I'm not sure how I've managed to survive three decades without following the 'advice' of this statement.

There are few things that get on my nerves. Rising bills, country invasions described as peace missions, James Blunt, piss-poor public transport, religious fundamentalists and rising council tax.

Not ever in my life, has the fact of not having a burning toxic stick laced with over 2,000 carcinogens, ever worried me.

Also, why is that smokers buy deodorant? What a pointless task and waste of resources. It's like buying football boots for Stephen Hawking.

"Look, we're going to die some day, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow."

And this is why Planet Earth will be better off without you. You've took the decision place a stick of dead leaves, wrapped up in paper, and plugged in with a mouse tampon, into your mouth, and to set fire to it. You utter schmuck. In your head, you're James Dean. In reality, you're Dot Cotton.

And one of your ultimate expectations of life is to be killed by the number 23 to Streatham Hill. Well, I won't be missing you, and neither will the bus driver.

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

I can avert the national terrorist threat.

The recent pictures of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners have risen tensions in the Gulf, already a hotbed of unrest that has had its fires stoked in recent times by the crisis over the Danish newspaper cartoons.

As such, we are being warned to be on our guard against Islamic militants who are prepared to strike the UK as revenge for the West's invasion and exploitation of the Middle East.

I have a perfect solution that will appease the both the anger-fuelled Muslims and the open-minded westerner. We have to accept that the culture in the Gulf is one of 'an eye for an eye'. With that in mind, I have constructed this flawless proposal.

We, the British people, are saddened that some of our armed servicemen have abused their role. We offer compensation by handing over a highly prolific former soldier who has served in the British Army.

This man is James Blunt, who, for some reason, has shifted more albums than anyone else last year. Quite tragic really. I am willing for James Blunt to be handed over to anyone in the Middle East, even the most extreme anti-western groups (especially them), and they can do what they like with him. I recommend slow torture, preferably involving sulphuric acid and pliers.

"But Peter", I hear you cry, "this is irrational and you can't seriously propose that". You'd be right. We can't just jet that caterwauling fop off to the Gulf for an imminent (and welcome) death. More than one perpetrator was involved in the abuse scandal, and so, I nominate more of Blunt's ilk - like Daniel Powter, that bloke from Kubb, and all the other lamentable Tesco Value Chris Martins that the tone-deaf record industry are signing up even though the sound of a bedwetting school-bully-target warbling the word 'beautiful' every other second is something that has the shelf-life of milk.

Al-Jazeera can charge sky-high pay-per-view fees for Blunt's execution. I'd personally like to sign up to buy the DVD rights. On second thoughts, there'd be a queue so long that you'd need a full tank of petrol to reach the end of it.

Monday, 13 February 2006

A multi-millionaire makes a romantic gesture to me.

This morning, I saw a red envelope on the doormat, addressed to me. "Ah," thought I. "How nice, the missus has got me a Valentine's card already", at exactly the same time a burden of guilt dropped on me as I realised I've done precisely nothing in gearing up for this year's annual Reason For Florists To Get The Rounds In.

Thing is, the envelope's writing was not that of my girlfriend's. What could it be? Someone playing a cruel hoax to make it look like I'm cheating on her? Someone doing a wind-up on me? Or even possibly a real actual Valentine from someone who doesn't know I'm attached?

Well, there was a real proper Valentine's card inside. It was from a businessman called Rupert. Now, I'm not that way inclined, but this bloke I do know about, and he is loaded. Was this a strange Indecent Proposal? Hey, I could do with the money. I would sleep with a guy for a few million pounds, oh yes. (I'd have to make sure the money is on the table first, I'm not falling for that trick again.)

Sadly, he wasn't offering his wealth of riches to me, but a different service. That of his satellite television business. It was actually an advertising shot from Sky. I've led quite a riddle here, with "Rupert" being that famous antipodeon billionaire with a huge stake in BSkyB.

No point taking up such an offer of romance from Mr Murdoch even if it did exist, because with the above-inflation price increases I had to accept in Sky's contract last year, I feel that Rupert has already screwed me.

As for the envelope, that was printed in a handwriting-like font, and has probably gone out to the seven million other Sky susbcribers out there.

Rupert, you're such a slut...

Saturday, 11 February 2006

In the beginning, there was nothing.

Blogs, eh? 99% of the bloody things appear to be social dullards talking about what they're going to have for dessert, and how their pet dog is recovering from an illness.

Well, none of that here, at least I hope not. I lead an ultimately boring life, peppered with the odd bit of fame when I go out and do things in the meeja industry. So, basically, I sit at home and watch DVDs, surf the interweb, but just occasionally have to speak to a celeb or someone vaguely celeb-like in the course of my travels.

I pretty much despise all blogs. They clutter up the internet with tales of nothingness, and opinions that really don't matter at all. Which is why I won't post as frequently as the average blogger. People should be banned from posting data to the internet, unless it's interesting. And who would be the judge of that? Well, me of course.

Everybody's entitled to my opinion.