Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Adrian's Haunted Trousers



I may in the past have been prepared to entertain various aspects of the arcane and esoteric, but I have never been susceptible to the sort of superstition that attaches bad luck to single magpies. OK, if I see a single magpie, I will look around for it's mate, invariably to be found by the casual eye should it bother to check. And, if I don't find said black and white bird, that doesn't mean I will then have that sort of creeping dread as the day's hope drains out of me like an emptying bath. Nor do I enunciate the old folk litany which is designed to prevent said bad fortune from striking me - something which a friend handily condensed to "where's your mate, mate ?" and check for errors in change the rest of the day. In this manner I lead a fairly rational life and keep neurosis at bay.

I have come to suspect that a certain pair of dogtooth check trousers that once belonged to this man, Adrian Huge, drummer of the Tiger Lillies are haunted. The reason for this (and it is reason) is that misfortune has befallen me sometimes as it befalls us all, but all the more often when I wear them. Which is a pity, because they are comfortable and stylish - rather like Adrian - and a good fit. I have told myself it's just a run of bad luck coincidence with the trousers, but now I have become aware of them, I can see that I will not be wearing them again. If I keep them I will only be naggingly conscious that they have been confined to the safety of the wardrobe and although I will look at them admiringly, they will not be on my legs again.

There is nothing to be done but get rid of them before the keeping of them becomes obsessive and the fear attaches itself to the removal of the object. I have only to decide whether the haunting is specific to me, and therefore the otherwise perfectly good trousers can be given to a suitable person or charity shop, or else whether they should be thrown away. I am loathe to destroy them because they are despite their ill-omened status a fine garment. But I would consider myself foolish if I managed to pass on the haunting as well as the trousers - how long will it take the next person to realise the terrible truth ? Will they be as fortunate as I in perceiving the nature of the trousers and thus avoid tragedy ?

With this in mind, I have decided therefore to take the trousers to a religious place, probably my local church, and leave them there (bagged) with a note attached (on white card) reading the following:

Please bless these trousers before passing them on to the man who needs them.



By this means, I hope to spiritually dry-clean the trousers, drive out the trouser demon, and restore them to the place they deserve to be - on the legs of a happy and well-adjusted person of good moral character possessing the courage to live a life beyond superstition.



Postscript: I first tried to post this very early this morning and the server promptly ceased to work. The ISP I called this morning and they have no idea why. When I did manage to post it successfully over 4 hours later, the image of the trousers was missing. D.D.

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Monday, October 25, 2004

The Reds

It's occurred to me that this Blog has become rather serious of late, which I can only put down my annual Autumn blues previously referred to herein. Therefore I want to write Thurrock, Bombashankle, and Mickleherpitude, which are all made up, except Thurrock isn't, it's a real place, and it's football team is here.

Now as for the Big Football Game that took place in yesterday, I can happily say (as a neutral) that I predicted a. that (given there are only 2 teams in the premiere league capable of beating Arsenal) Manchester United would end Arsenal's unbeaten run, and b. that something in the game would be highly contraversial. Of course, there was refereeing bias. Fergie will stop at nothing...

I glow with smug pride, like a true liberal, commisserating with my Gooner pals and congratulating my Mancy pals. Both of them. Actually, I know 2 Man U fans who were amazingly born and bred in the North West of England, one even grew up in Manchester ! Shock of shocks.

What gets me is how people actually choose their allegiances, which often have more to do with family politics or sudden whim than geography, and then spent the rest of their lives justifying their choices. Call me old fashioned but I've always said, support the team you grew up nearest. Even if it's Thurrock. But since that is a ridiculous piece of feudalism, on second thoughts, I've changed my mind. Let's all just support the team with the nicest strip. Then, Man U, Arsenal and Liverpool fans will become completely confused as their teams all wear red. I will continue to support Crystal Palace, adding Barcelona, and the splendid Irish team Ards FC. And Thurrock and Norwich will have no fans at all.



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Friday, October 22, 2004

Boris Johnson: Honest Conservative

I am aware that the title in this case may be a oxymoron, but I feel I must add my ha'penny worth to the debate inspired by the current Conservative Front Bench spokesman for the Arts.

I first have to admit that my liking for Boris Johnson is partly because he is a neighbour of mine, and so I bump into him from time to time, his bird's nest blonde hair and chubby limbs wobbling through Islington on a bike, his large behind protruding from a family car with arms full of child's toys and "things country" and occasionally, wandering down to Highbury and Islington station as if in a daze.

Boris has all the classic Tory credentials with one important exception - he simply isn't oily. He is who he seems to be. He's reactionary, frequently misguided, and he speaks with several pounds of plums in his mouth, nonetheless I've always felt he's politically aligned to the right by dint of birth rather than temperament. He is an anachronism from a past era, somehow transported to 2004 and mysteriously alive. He embodies an effortless Jennings-style public schoolboy charm and naive good manners, self-effacing and scruffy no matter what he wears. His honesty causes him to offend often, and given his intelligence one wonders why. It's as if he assumes that people will of course make the same noble attempt that he would make to reflect upon his comments and to judge book rather than cover, rather than grab the easy soundbite and make off with his public image and reputation.

His public image took a huge battering over the past few days as he dared to comment on the loutish behaviour of fans at a football match when the crowd was asked to observe a minute's silence for the dead Liverpudlian Ken Bigley, recently kidnapped and beheaded in Iraq. Ken's was a sad tale of botched rescue attempt, political expediency and tabloid frenzy exploiting the pain of the relatives. I was amazed Ken lasted as long as he did. I sympathised with the family and avoided the news. Boris got himself into deep water by attributing the mawkish malaise he accurately described to the City of Liverpool, and then sunk the Johnson ship by mentioning Hillsborough, a football stadium tragedy in which policing errors caused 90+ people to be crushed to death. (Now apparently, because I didn't get the exact number of deaths correct, I am in serious danger of offending Liverpool as well.)

I don't agree with Boris on many things, but I have to say, his sentiment (if not his expression of it) was bang on. He correctly deduced that the reason for the crowd's bad behaviour was that they were being expected to feel something they didn't actually feel. It reminded me very much of Andy Warhol, who commenting on his Jackie Kennedy silkscreens and his choice of her happy face as a high-chroma modern icon in his "Death and Disaster" series, said that it wasn't that he was unmoved by her plight, but he didn't like the way the media were programming people to feel sad by using images of her grief, and that this media manipulation was wrong. Move on to 1997 and Diana's death. I can understand her family and friends grieving, but the mass hysteria was certainly media-inflated, as people followed examples of behaviour they saw on television, media driven, and media created.

Boris is right. News, tragedy in particular, is constantly taken and used by grandstanding politicians for advantage, mainstream media for profit, and many others for their own selfish reasons, and the death of Bigley and the consequent attempt to enforce solemnity is a case in point. We all dislike the horror that is unfolding in Iraq. Does it mean we must respond to every sad death there with a solemn group ritual, like Armistice Day ?

I did feel sad for Ken, and his family; but I think the winners here were the news media, and the government, who took this awful tale and said, "See ? this is what we're up against. We have to keep on fighting."

Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity, as the grafitti used to say. Weeping for Ken won't change a brutal, foolish and divisive foreign policy, and it won't bring him back, or the tens of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq who have died as a result of Bush's warmongering. I loathe and detest the way that post 9-11, the understandable feelings of grief and fear in the American populace were translated into an excuse for trampling on human rights in Guantanamo and Abu Ghurayb. The Nazis in Germany understood this playing of the public mood very well.



As far as Liverpool goes - great city. No Conservatives anywhere. Boris was right to go and expose himself to their withering scorn. It will have reminded him of school. I once locked myself out of my car, keys inside, and went into a nearby pub to ask for help. Told the barman what had happened, asked him if he had something I could break in with. Without batting an eyelid, and 100% seriously, he turned to the assembled afternoon drinkers and asked loudly, "Any scousers in ?"

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Hanging Chav

The Oxford University Press defines Chav as possibly of Romany origin, going back over 100 years, whereas we all know it's an acronym standing for Council House, Aggression and Violence. I am delighted to observe that some wag has incorporated the word Chav into the Argos catalogue.

Now this is a five-knuckle chuckle :)


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The Old Kind of Nostalgia

I think it must be Autumn, with it's chills and mists and darkening skies, that creates the conditions for nostalgia in me. Most of the time I look forward, and this keeps me pretty much anchored to the present, as I try to harness it as a rudder to steer towards the future I want to create and inhabit; but the season of decay and soggy leaves and the new academic year seems always to inspire a melancholy and retrospective mood in me whether I am basically happy, sad or indifferent.

Adult life has sublimated the seasonal whimsy so that I am generally more productive, but the situation is somehow the same - I am driven to make a response to the dreadful finality of winter this far up the Northern hemisphere. Lest we forget, Edinburgh (only 600 miles North of here) is on the same latitude as Moscow. In Britain, we pay for our long summer evenings where daylight lasts until 10.30pm and dawn is at 3.30am with the rapid closing of the jaws of night shortly after mid-September.

I respond quite differently year by year. When I was younger the onset of the season produced in me a spate of earnestly wistful poems, none of which are repeatable, and endless the playing of the same 3 or 4 unresolved chords on piano or guitar. Now, it makes me want to rush around fixing the roof, stacking the larder with salted pork and parsnips, and buying new winter coats whether I need them or not. Then we hit December and the panic is exalted and exacerbated by Capitalism's annual spending-binge-fest - KWITHMUTH to give it it's proper name.

Actually, despite myself, I love Autumn, but I loathe and detest KWITHMUTH. My happiest ever KWITHMUTH was spent entirely alone with all the food I could possibly require, the TV, the internet, and the phone. Oh and a bottle of port and sundry other mood-enhancers. I was in heaven. No social obligations, no work, and crap on the box from dawn (around 8am) till dusk (4.45pm). Consequently, I watched My Fair Lady for the first time and absolutely loved it, listening to cockney accents which surely can never have existed.

That KWITHMUTH at least, I allowed myself to indulge in that inebriate post-war nostalgia that everyone else seems to jump at the chance to enjoy, that sort of mythical hallowed golden yesteryear nazi past where things was things, and people knew their aprons from their sausages, and the barrow boy whistled a cheeky melody before dying young of TB like his old Dad had done before him, luv 'im.

It's Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, tap dancing Chim-Chimernee Sweeps, breathing pea-soupers when gor blimey London air was predictably dangerous and no fish at all lived in the Thames- not like nowadays when they swim freely up and down central London without so much as a by-your-leave and can suddenly be all killed by the sewers overflowing in flash floods - fish knew their place, then, see... it was on a plate, with chips and a pickled onion, wrapped in newspaper... It's Pete Seeger's Little Boxes, it's Tommy Steele's Little White Bull, it's dreary black and white Euston films with screeching children, Norman Wisdom's unfunny capers, it's demob, it's kitchen-sink drama, cars with running boards and moving indicators, it's those faded mid-50s illustrations on Nan's printed metal coasters of Berkeley Square and St James' Park - pre-Profumo, pre-Suez, pre-Beatles, pre-Feminist, pre-Pill, pre-fabricated houses and just about post-rationing.

I hate that world, I find it threatening, morbid, depressing, a brutal, awful, smug period, where having won the war we somehow lost the peace. The Cold War was upon us; the establishment was still glued to the nation like a big fat leech; homosexuality was still a crime; racism a daily reality; born out of wedlock you were a bastard, a good clip raand the ear was what you needed as a nipper, the clitoris didn't exist, and if you hadn't come from Oxbridge you hadn't a chance - unless you were a musician or a comedian. No coincidence then that my 2 heros are Spike Milligan and Ian Dury. Truly they excelled. Never did they sell out.

And while I sometimes suffer it like the sickness it is, I wholeheartedly detest nostalgia, I am suspicious of it, it reeks of rotting flesh and buzzes like a slaughterhouse. The Autumn blues which creates it in me, I curse and suffer ungraciously, even as it produces an outpouring of prophylactic Winter energy. I am ashamed of Rex Harrison and his disgusting misogny. Thank God for the 60s, for peace and love and long hair and contraception.

I would rather watch Star Trek. At least then I can be nostalgic about events set in a fabulous future I once dreamed was possible.

Beam me up, Spring 2005.

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Friday, October 15, 2004

Fish Sex and Sleep

When we sleep, the brain tries to deal with the information we've absorbed, the feelings and thoughts we are too busy to process during the day. I have been making some personal discoveries recently, as a result of which I am evolving, in some areas at least, at a rate of knots. Life is currently technicolour and varied, full of symbols and mystery and revelation. I frequently have spontaneous reveries and daydreams. One piece of information seems to be bleeding into another. It's not psychosis, I know perfectly well the difference between the real and unreal, but it is seductive. As a writer, this is great. As a person, it can be disturbing. I am lucky that the Inquisition no longer operates in London, 2004, or I would be burnt at the stake.

In a typical example of 1960s medical negligence, on the advice of a semi-trained GP, my parents drugged me as a 5 year old when my over-fertile imagination kept me from sleeping after my parents' divorce, so I have always been susceptible to this kind of transference.

I spent the night having vivid dreams, with both pleasant and unpleasant images. At one point, my arm was in a tank (Yes, Mr Freud) being bitten by a big fish with vampire-like fangs like a snake. Thankfully my protective (and rather funky) wetsuit prevented wounding. I woke up, and forced myself to think straight until the dream image dissipated.

According to this remarkable item, people can act out their dreams whilst in a sleepwalking state. The woman in the case described was having sex with strangers, and her husband worked it out after he found condoms around the house, eventually waking up to find her having sex beside him.

I read this and thought about the fish. Then I read that 13 people in 13,000 can tell if they are being lied to, and wondered whether I would be able to tell if my fish was lying to me or not. Then I woke up, soaked in water, my wetsuit beside the bed.

Now I am off to have a bath.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Fit

The previous rant about Fat got me thinking about Fit. What is fitness anyway ? Fit means suitable - as in, fit for the role. Why do people spend such a lot of time and energy on their bodies and ignore mental and emotional and social and ecological health ?

Our culture has denied the body for so long, we have become polarised. In the Yewnaated Stayuts, this is most evident. More than any other nation, they have swamped the world (particularly the internet) with pornography; but Janet Jackson's nipple at the Superbowl is classed obscene.They enjoy, in some States at least, legalised brothels, and a girl can go and work in one of these the day she turns 18. But the previous day, a loving shag with her boyfriend, and he's up for statutory rape.

Sex is a good example to use, but this extremism extends to all aspects of physicality, including health, medicine, working conditions, domestic life, clothing, eating...

I was once offered a fabulously well-paid job in the States, which would have put me heading a European division in a hugely funded new cultural corporation; I turned it down on the basis that because there was such strict censorship, grey (that's right, GREY not gray) areas which are necessary parts of any vibrant culture did not exist, and that one "f" word or one nipple straight away removed really excellent content from the "decent" mainstream - so-called wholesome, inoffensive, safe, utterly boring content - what Frank Zappa called Cheeze - and this deprives perfectly rational adults of the opportunity of experiencing, maybe even learning, anything worthwhile.

So our enjoyment of our bodies and the enshrining of that is a reaction against 2,000 years of THE SINS OF THE FLESH and it's mortification, and that in turn has created a bizarre culture where the body fit and beautiful is the most high attainment possible, and physical pleasure is the raison d'être of our short span. And this is turn, creates a reaction where, since physical pleasure is necessarily limited, we are in despair, and throw aside all care and consideration for our general well-being.

Is it just me who believes that you don't have to be a devout church-going believer to enjoy the movement of spirit within us and without us, nor a buddhist to see that we change ourselves in order to change the world, nor a new-age destiny freak to see that there is more to life than just plodding along on this tiny planet until we drop off ?

Now I think I'll have a whiskey for breakfast.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Fat

New research carried at the University of Birmingham shows that fat around the waist is much more dangerous than other kinds of body fat. Apparently this fat squirts out chemicals which damage the body's ability to produce insulin, leading to diabetes, and also is 4 times more likely to cause heart disease.

I saw the scientist on the news. He was rather thin, bald, wearing a white shirt and thin dark tie. The problem with research like this is that it is in the typical way of science, narrow, and context blind. Red wine after all, that well known middle-class saviour of all that's decent in society, was considered to have unique health benefits that beer didn't, until they found the antioxidants in beer that make it good for you.

It's probably the same with fat. We do not yet know the subtle ways of obesity.

We will probably find waist fat extends life by preventing shagging in certain positions, and since repeated pelvic thrusting increases pressure in ageing veins, it thereby prevents pulmonary embolism from developing.

Lip fat can save you lots of money on plastic surgery and avoid the "trout-pout" risks associated with BOTOX injections.

Having foot fat means you are actually more stable, as it lowers your centre of gravity and prevents you from being blown over. Hurricane deaths in Florida would have tripled but for the very fat feet of that state's residents.

Also, it depends where the fat is not just PHYSICALLY but GEOGRAPHICALLY. Arse fat is very bad for Europeans, because it means, male or female, that your behind will be covered in small uncomfortable bruises caused by the pinching of it by Italian men, but if you are in the United States, now that obesity there is classed as an illness, it nullifies the risk of you being drafted and shot in Iraq, thereby increasing your life expectancy by many years.

But the worst kind of fat is fat between the ears which causes dull mental processes, lack of imagination, the maintenance of a very boring job, premature hairloss, the wearing of conservative attire, smugness, and a narrow-minded obsession with length of life at the expense of quality.

Now I'm off to the pool.

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Extending the Family

I wrote that Zoe is my only sister, but that (it turns out) isn't true. Yesterday I learnt that I have another one. I also have another brother - so that makes 4 in total.

There hasn't been some kind of late breeding program for the over 60's. I just met my Dad #1 after 37 years. Decided that my instinct was telling me (or God decided, and told me via the Agnostic Grapevine) that I had to do it yesterday. So having had his address for 2 years, and having worked out a while back that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, I got on a train and went and knocked on his door.

He was very chuffed and coped with me walking in remarkably well. His lovely wife wept tears of shock and joy, then recovered and told me all about their lot. I saw photos from my early life which brought back vivid memories, drank tea, chatted happily for 2 hours, and left promising to come back, and realising that I had done a good thing.



I get the impression that I have just altered many people's lives, and I was just trying to sort my own out, actually, so that's cool. My sister was delighted when I told her. I have a half-brother and sister who want to meet me.

Apart from feeling slightly knackered, and concerned that Mum doesn't become scared and defensive (always a possibility) I'm actually calm and cheerful. This beats not knowing and wondering and what ifs. I am glad I didn't wait longer. Several friends have no parents left; now I have increased my sum total.

I am not expecting major changes or upheavals or miracles of any sort, but I have a definite idea that this morning the world is different. I wonder what will happen now.

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Monday, October 11, 2004

Flog of Bunk

My God, I sometimes love the internet. Does that make me pathological ?

Now I defined the Fog of Blunk, in poetic terms at least, I decided to type into Google "Flog of Blunk" and found this excellent article about pseudo-science and the various "energised" waters that are being sold around the place, and this hilarious page about masturbation horror stories. Both of which are recommended reading. I need write nothing. It is enough to link.

I just had the worst week I can remember having for simply years and years. I tried to put my rational thinking about astrology down on blog paper ("I Don't Know") but after the whole mad 7 days had passed, I went and looked at my own map. I am experiencing a Venus-Pluto opposition. Well fuck me gently (and for those of you that understand the concept, that is an appropriate phrase). Whatever is left at the end of this will probably be there for good. I hope I am part of the ruins. I am in love; and I am questioning everything all at once. I am acting like a madman; and I am at the same time completely sane. I am confused - and yet, I am clearer than I have been for years. One day this will all make sense. And if it doesn't, then, it won't.

I also discovered that this Blog is worth B$2,459.33 in fantasy Blog Shares. Wow !

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Friday, October 08, 2004

Fog of Blunk

Before I go any further, I want to disassociate myself and this article from the Blunk families worldwide and the name Blunk. You are all lovely.

The Blunk I am referring to is the miasmic blunk that descends upon rational people when they start to shore up their seething emotions with half-arsed justification for abusive behaviour. If the blunk is liberal, you'll often find an apologetic tone accompanying it. If the blunk is fascist, it will be triumphal. But, blunk is blunk and it relies on a combination of denial and aggression to persist.

Blunk is the smell that you wish you hadn't smelled. Blunk makes your nose rot and your teeth ache. Blunk makes a mist both inside and outside your car window and causes crashes and multiple pile-ups, none of which are your fault. Blunk is never your fault. Anyone that thinks otherwise is stupidly mistaken at best, insanely psychotic at worst. When you think you are out of the blunk, you are still in it. Blunk occurs in any season at any temperature. It wants you to think it is normal. It isn't normal - it is blunk.

If this makes any sense to you, then remember this as a mantra to help you through the terrible fog:

I have not been blinking, and I am not blunk.

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Thursday, October 07, 2004

I Don't Know

I really don't. And if I sound like I sometimes do, that's my curse. I just have that kind of voice. I can make myself understood; but I understand only on some rare occasions. I squint into the future and it's almost impossible to tell whether I am awake or asleep, let alone moving forward or backward.



At the moment, astrologers are in a fever of excitement spotting a series of shapes in the sky above us, and interpreting it's meaning and the possible ramifications for humanity. It's total conjecture - but once upon a time, so was "maybe the world is round".

We are living in extraordinary times and trying to make sense of it all is part of the human condition. I used to be sceptical about divination, astrology, etc. I argued rationally and at length against it. After a while I became quite good at explaining it to people, and even using it to make accurate guesses about their personalities, their talents, strengths, fears and sore spots. I also read Carl Jung, and understood better the role of archetypes in human consciousness, and so my rationality was more able to cope with it's intangible nature. It's not so difficult to make it work, if you suspend your cynicism.

These days, I believe that personal astrology, when calculated based on time/place of birth, is more than an entertainment; it can help us to understand the changes with live through, both internally and in the wider world.

For reasons occasionally known to me, some of my plans and fond imaginings are fated to succeed and others not so. Anything that makes failure more constructive and success less attached to my ego is a pretty good thing. My directions in life have not been influenced, but my strategies have been adapted by knowing about this ancient system, and this is also good.

I particularly like the ideas embodied in astrology which allow for personal growth not only during the seasons when roses bloom, the sun shines and things are easy, but also when lightning strikes, the roof collapses, and you can't run for the mud caked to your boots. It helps me to be humble enough to recognise the moments in life when the cosmic signposts are pointing --> somewhere damn obvious - even if it wasn't where I expected - as they do every so often.

However, these days I don't much look at astrology. I think it can even be dangerous as a sop to anxiety; it can replace unselfconscious action, and it can get between you and your experiences. But I like the way intellectuals cringe at parties when somebody defends or espouses it... and I agree with Henry Miller, that most marvellous mind, who in an interview agreed that astrology is like a map of the city; at first it's a helpful way of finding your way; as above, so below.. but you don't need to keep using it...



"You should learn to forget it... throw it out the window ! Remember that we decide things, and not the stars."

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The Wrong Kind of Ladybird

I saw a report on BBC yesterday about ladybirds - specifically, Harmonia axyridis, or the Multi-Coloured Asian Ladybird, a foreign invader from the Continent with a voracious appetite which eats not only aphids, the staple diet of 50% of our native species, but also butterfly eggs. Learning this, I feel rather protective towards the pretty bug families who seek annual winter shelter in my window frames. I don't want them to starve to death. And I like our bright and fluttery friends; I don't want their babies to be eaten alive.

At the moment Harmonia axyridis is, like rabies and small breakfasts, restricted to the European mainland, and has yet to get across the Channel. The problem is that on a British diet it will grow to an enormous size, and rapidly become a predator of immeasurable danger. Attacking unprovoked, exuding toxic blood from it's joints when attacked, the fierce jaws can open up an armoured personnel carrier like a tin of baked beans, and once here it will obviously go for chocolate, burgers, chips, crisps, high-fat sausages, chicken nuggets and pork scratchings, washed down with Stella Artois and lashings of curry, and thus be transformed into UK Hooligan Hybrid Ladybird. Even Millwall fans will be scared.

You think this is far fetched ?

In fact, Alien Invasion is one of the many ways in which our current Mass Extinction Event is being brought about. Bye-bye Red Squirrel, chased off by the larger belligerent Grey Squirrel, introduced from America by the Victorians and replaced since then like Folk music replaced by Rock 'n' Roll. Bye-bye Freshwater Crayfish, replaced by the Chinese Mitten Crab, the scientific advice being to eat them before they take over our streams and rivers. Bye-bye Earth worm, responsible for the health of our soil, devoured by the New Zealand Flat worm on it's 2 year visit to the Old World, as it hangs around in Walkabout bars getting pissed and living in enormous shared houses full of 3rd hand furniture and badly-made bongs.

Our only hope is that the Multi-Coloured Asian Ladybird discovers Diamond White and Bhangra and puts all it's energy into customising it's Honda Civic...

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Monday, October 04, 2004

Olympic Streaking

I've been researching this for a while, and I can't find any references to this anywhere, so I guess it may just be an original idea. I like sport but let's face it, it's damn traditional and rather joyless in some respects. With this in mind, I have already invented several sports, notably Rock Jumping, not to be confused with Rock Climbing, or Diving - in which the participant simply hurls him or herself over rocks (a far more interesting obstacle than a hurdle or a highjump bar) - difficulty to be graded in terms of surface gradient and height - and most recently, Olympic Streaking.

The way I picture it, a straightforward 100 metre dash would be transformed into a spectacle of flailing limbs, one-legged hops, trips, falls, and discarded Adidas as they struggle to reach the finish whilst ridding themselves progressively of the kit they are wearing when the starting pistol goes off. Imagine the wonderful sight of the nude athletes pulling their glory faces in their full and magnificent natural state as they break the tape, their maximum physical exertion and will-to win laid bare, our view of their prize-winning bodies unhindered by sports fashion... behind them, one garment after another lying on the track in a carefully planned and executed speedstrip.

The Olympic athletes originally competed naked, so this simply returns to a time before Judao-Christian / Islamic body shame dominated our consciousnesses, with the added comedy benefit of seeing the athletes disrobe as they compete. As the sport develops, I fully expect to see undressing whilst in motion become a practised art, raised to a level of beauty, and that the Streaking Finals will be like watching a combination of Track, Field, Gymnastics, and Ice Dancing.

Of course, they will on occasion have to put up with the odd fully-clothed spectator running onto the track... but what can you do ? There's always somebody wants to spoil it...

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Sunday, October 03, 2004

Bush, Kerry, Kerry, Bush



The US Election. Bollocks, isn't it ? I am reminded of the late great Bill Hicks (now restored to my personal comedy patheon) and his comment about how little power any president has compared to the tiny cadre that actually controls America. Whatever program he is elected on, after he's got to the Whitehouse, they take him into a room and show him the JFK assassination - from an angle he's never seen before...

The reason I am at all bothered by this election is that the US's unbridled influence is so pernicious and complete. The voting constituency is largely in thrall of a media that trivialises everything. The incumbents have used the so-called War on Terror to move large numbers of US troops around the globe to encircle and control our fast-dwindling global resources. And as we know, Saddam was out as soon as Jeb had lied his brother into office.

In fact, since the fate of the world hangs on this election, and since if it just involves actual citizens of the Yoo Naated Stayuts it is bound to be as crooked as the last one (says Jimmy Carter), surely we should all get a vote. Iraqis certainly, as they are under US military control, and effectively US government therefore, should have a vote.

Since half the population of Israel is resident in New York, maybe to tip the balance back, in good old USA civil rights tradition, so should the residents of East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. Residents of Basra will have to wait for UK elections. Perhaps we could bring them into the EU as honorary Europeans. I wonder what France would make of that.

Maybe we need to ensure fairness by giving anyone who has ever watched the Simpsons a vote.

Here's a joke my mate Daggers told me:

Bush is electioneering in a school, and he invites questions from the floor.

Up gets Billy.

"My name's Billy, Mr President, and I have 3 questions."
"OK Billy, ask away." smiles GW.

"One," says Billy "Why did you invade Iraq without a UN mandate? Two, how come you're President when Al Gore got more votes than you, and three, where's Osama Bin Laden ?"

Just then the bell goes, and the teacher says, "Breaktime everybody!" and the class files out.

After break, GW says, "OK children, where were we ? Who has a question for me ?"

Up gets Jim.

"My name's Jim, Mr President, and I have 5 questions."

"OK Jim, ask away." says GW.

"One," says Jim "Why did you invade Iraq without a UN mandate? Two, how come you're President when Al Gore got more votes than you ? Three, where's Osama Bin Laden ? Four, why did the bell go 20 minutes early ? And five, where's Billy ?"

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Saturday, October 02, 2004

Bloglinker

Just thought I'd mention www.bloglinker.com as a great idea.

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