Tuesday, January 30, 2007

At Last - The Two Hundredth Post!

Gad, two hundred posts already! Yes folks, this is it, the two hundredth post on Sleaze Diary! Of course, the question is - what should I concern myself with in this momentous post? What burning issue of the day should form the subject matter of this great moment in blogging? The sad truth is that I've somewhat run out of steam already this week! Maybe it is this dreary weather we're having, perhaps its just the time of year generally, or maybe it is just down to the fact that I'm preoccupied elsewhere, but I'm right out of inspiration at the moment. In fact, I'm feeling very listless and somewhat dissatisfied. It is hard to put my finger on the exact reasons for this. Despite having re-started my teaching placement, I still have this nagging feeling that there's something vital missing from my life at the moment. Oh hell, I know that we all feel that way sometimes, but this is more than simply a vague feeling which I know will pass soon. It could simply be that teaching to a timetable simply emphasises the rigid routines which daily life seems to descend into. Perhaps what I need is more spontaneity.

There's no doubt that routine can destroy creativity. Although, having said that, I'm finally getting back into the groove as far as writing for The Sleaze is concerned. The only thing holding me back from finishing the next story up at the moment is lack of time - by the end of the week I should have enough to complete it and get Issue 45 underway. No, the spontaneity I need obviously lies elsewhere. I need a jump start. The trouble is that the most spontaneous person I need is being highly uncommunicative at the moment (you know who you are - read your bloody e-mails!). With, or without, their help, I really should be doing something out of the ordinary. That's probably part of the problem with teaching - that feeling of deja vu: I've done it all before. Less structure (or even stricture) in my life - maybe that's the answer. Hell, I just need to do something different, start some new project which will spark my interest and enthusiasm. The trouble is finding the time. Clearly, something has to give. Watch this space.

Hmm, not much of a two hundredth post, I know. But the alternative was whingeing on about something, or yet more demented ranting. I just don't have energy for either at the moment! I'm sure something will fire me up later in the week (it usually does), and normal service will be resumed!


Monday, January 29, 2007

The Sincerest Form of Flattery?

I'm always loathe to accuse anyone of plagiarism - it's all too easy to come up with a story idea which, coincidentally, turns out to be similar to something somebody has already written. It is also easy to subconsciously come up with something influenced by a story or article you don't consciously remember reading. It is also perfectly permissible to take something somebody else has written as a jumping off point, before going off on your own tangent, or to do something on the same theme, but from a different perspective. Whenever I come across something on another site similar to a story on The Sleaze, I usually put it down to one of these scenarios. However, I'm finding that very hard to do in the case of a story currently to be found on The Spoof, entitled 'Scat Fetish Attacks on the Increase', which seems to me to be an attempt to rip off my own Confessions of a Crap Artist from way back in June 2005.

Basically, it is an attempt to parody the so-called 'Happy Slapping' phenomena (where teenagers filmed assaults using their mobile phones and shared the resulting images with their friends), in terms of acts of defecation being captured on phones. Now, the fact that the author has decided to use the term 'Happy Scatting' rather than the more obvious 'Happy Crapping', strongly implies that they have read my earlier story (which uses this term) and are desperately trying to avoid charges of plagiarism. The fact that they choose to concentrate on the idea of people simply being attacked with someone else's shit rather than explore the whole spectrum of extreme crapping activities (as I did), also suggests a desperate attempt to avoid accusations of ripping off The Sleaze. The trouble is that, as written, the descriptions of this 'Happy Scatting' seem to be a straight rip-off of a sequence on Charlie Brooker's Screen Wipe New Year special, shown on BBC4 on New Year's Eve.

Now, whilst imitation is supposedly the sincerest form of flattery, I don't feel very flattered. This is mainly because the story concerned isn't even a very good rip-off of Confessions of a Crap Artist. Indeed, in common with a lot of what passes for satire on the web these days, it's barely a story. Perfunctory would be too kind a word to describe it. Look guys, if you're gonna rip me off, at least have the courtesy to do it well. But even better, try coming up with some ideas of your own or, at the very least try and find a new angle on my ideas - don't try and disguise the rip off by purloining yet another writer's ideas!


Friday, January 26, 2007

Bugger Thy Neighbour

So those bloody left-footers don't like the idea of gay couples adopting kids, eh? What's the matter, are they worried that kids might get molested outside the vestry? Well, it shouldn't surprise anyone that they're coming out in their true homophobic colours - with a former member of the Hitler Youth at the helm, the Catholic's extremists and reactionaries have been emboldened enough to break cover. The worst part of this latest bout of gay-bashing is the way in which the C of E has joined in. Fearful of losing the support of his African bigots, sorry, Bishops, our hairy hippie of an Archbishop has decided to sell out his principles and enter into an unholy alliance with Rome. Of course, this adoption row is just the latest manifestation of this new wave of Christian homophobia. The other week we had the massed ranks of God Botherers trying to convince us that a new law to eliminate discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation was somehow a heinous attack on their religious rights. Primarily the right to be a bunch of knee-jerk reactionaries, presumably.

What really depresses me about this is the fact that Christianity is surely meant to be a religion of love. After all, didn't Jesus tell his followers to 'Love Thy Neighbour'? So, if your neighbour happens to be a gay man, surely, if you are a practicing Christian, you should be indulging in a bit of free love with him, shouldn't you? But you can be sure those Christians are a bit shy and need some encouragement. So, gay guys out there, I'm calling upon you, if you live next door to a practicing Christian or, even better, a clergyman, to go round and bugger your neighbour. Give 'em some of that universal back door love - it's what Jesus would have wanted. Trust me, you'll be surprised at how receptive many of them will be to such advances. But to be semi-serious, I really do think it a bit rich for the Catholic church to be objecting to gay adoptions on moral grounds, when it has quite happily covered up the systematic abuse of children who have been in the care of their priests and nuns. But then that's the trouble with these Holy Joes, they're all a bunch of hypocrites who are all too ready to whip up a mob to try and force their viewpoint down other people's throats. At least we atheists don't feel it necessary to try and persecute others in order to make ourselves feel more righteous. Maybe we should get more militant and burn down a few churches, eh? Or perhaps just picket them, holding up placards highlighting the various evils condoned by the church down the centuries. See how the smug bastards like it when somebody sticks it to them!


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Thieving Bastards!

It's good to see that we still live in a law abiding country. I mean, if valuable cargo from a stricken merchant ship was washed ashore onto the British coastline, we wouldn't see people going down there by the thousand and carting the stuff off, now would we? Even if anyone was to do such a thing, they'd just be taking the stuff for safe-keeping, and would contact the real owners immediately, wouldn't they? I really was appalled to see the pictures of all those bastards swarming over the stuff washed up from the MSC Napoli on Branscombe beach. Still, it is Devon, I suppose. They're all a bit weird down there. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that it was the locals who caused the ship to run aground, by lighting fires on the beach, or whatever it is that wreckers do to lure their prey onto the rocks. Let's face it, there's probably not much else to do down there when the tourist season is over. They probably waylay lorries delivering to local supermarkets as well. They probably set up fake kebab vans in lay-bys to lure them in.

The stupidity of these people was confirmed when not only did they allow themselves to be photographed by the press, but some of them actually gave their names to the papers. Indeed, quite a few even seemed happy to give interviews and actually seemed to be proud of what they were up to! Jesus Christ! It's all very well Tony Blair going on about setting up 'Respect' zones in urban areas to try and tackle anti-social behaviour and restore law and order, but clearly Devon needs such measures even more urgently! It's also clear that it isn't young unemployed people from inner city estates who need to be taught respect for the law - one of the looters quite happily identified himself as a serving Royal Marine and gave his name to a newspaper! How reassuring it is to know that the defence of this country is in the hands of such fine and upstanding young men! Still, at least it explains why there is no looting in the bits of Iraq currently controlled by the British military - the bastards wait until they get home to do it!

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Some Musings on Morons...

I never realised the fun I would have when I posted that last editorial over on The Sleaze last month. If you haven't read it (and if not, why not?), I ranted at length about some of the truly idiotic search terms people put into Google and which eventually bring them to The Sleaze. In particular, I highlighted search phrases such as 'My missus naked', or 'My wife fucked' and wondered exactly what kind of morons made such searches and whether they actually expected to get any relevant results. Well, much to my joy, the very fact that those phrases appear in the editorial have resulted in a significant number of these dullards finding their way to it, where they're confronted with my forthright opinions on them! Ha! What joy! The trouble is, of course, that they're probably too stupid to grasp that I'm taking the piss out of them. However, now that those phrases are also in this post , means that, sooner or later, the cretins will turn up here! So, if you didn't get the message before boys - I think you are a bunch of drooling morons who shouldn't be let near a keyboard, let alone a search engine.

Whilst we're on the subject of morons, I've noticed with interest that some of the leading whacked out weirdoes over at the '60IF' message board (they're the 'leading' authority on the 'Paul McCartney is dead and replaced by a double' conspiracy), have recently started postulating that Paul is actually alive! Now, I know that all of you who have been following his divorce case, or have bought any of his albums over the past thirty seven years (you poor deluded souls!) will be saying 'No shit, Sherlock'. However, the new '60IF' position is (naturally) a bit more complex than that. Apparently, Paul was replaced by a double back in 1966, but at his own behest because he couldn't stand the pressures of fame, or something, and has since lived under an assumed identity (possibly Donald Rumsfeld). This amazing turnaround in their core beliefs is all based upon some highly scientific analysis of hairlines in forty year old photographs.

Now, the eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted by now that this new theory is, in essence, pretty similar to the plot of I Buried Paul which was published in The Sleaze last Summer. Of course, nobody on the 60IF board is admitting having read that piece of sensational reportage, but somehow I doubt their change in theories is coincidental. Clearly, The Sleaze is far more persuasive and influential than I ever suspected! Anyway, if you can stand the unbridled lunacy and lack of respect for even the most basic tenents of the English language, go and check it out for yourselves over at 60IF . You just can't make this stuff up...

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Monday, January 22, 2007


Channel Four's Celebrity Big Brother took another bizarre turn yesterday after the new 'mystery housemate' - who had been secretly living in hole underneath the Big Brother house's garden - was revealed as former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Shouting "Surprise!" as he appeared through a trapdoor, Saddam revealed to the astonished housemates that his execution had been faked so as to maintain the secrecy over his participation in the reality TV show. He joins fellow US public enemy Osama bin Laden in the house. Bin Laden - who had appeared on Friday after spending two weeks hiding in a kitchen cupboard - sparked controversy within hours of his arrival, accusing US contestants Dirk Benedict and Jermaine Jackson of racism, after they denounced him as an 'evil terrorist' and attempted to lynch him with a bedsheet. "This is obviously anti-Arab racism," he claimed in the Diary Room. "They'd never have treated me this way if I had been one of those nice white Irish Republican terrorists! Oh no! They'd have been buying me drinks, singing Irish songs and giving me lots of charitable donations for the 'boys back home'!"

Saddam has fared little better in the house. Within twenty four hours of his arrival, he was in the diary Room, pleading to be hanged rather than have to listen to Cleo Rocos, Jo O'Meara and that bird who flashes her tits for the papers for any longer. "I'm begging you, let me die with dignity - even I never subjected people to such abominable torture," he pleaded. "In my country I would have had them all shot - and I'd have gassed the entire Goody family for good measure! Trust me, you would have thanked me for doing it as well!" The last straw for Saddam seemed to have been when the evicted Jade Goody's idiot boyfriend Jack mistook him for a kebab seller he once knew in Leyton and tried to buy a portion of chips and a coke from him. Channel Four bosses are refusing to comment on reports that Saddam's appearance is part of a deal with the Iraqi authorities to legally torture the deposed dictator, although a source at the Iraqi embassy in London did confirm that "Frankly, we thought hanging was both too good and too quick for a man who had tortured and murdered thousands. We wanted a more appropriate punishment."

Not surprisingly, both Saddam and bin Laden have been nominated for eviction this week. However, the programme's makers have a surprise twist in store for the evictee. Instead of leaving the house to face an interview with Davina McCall, they will in fact be handcuffed and led to a gallows where they'll be hanged live on TV by celebrity executioner Graham Norton. "In view of the alternative, I think Saddam would be quite pleased with such an outcome," commented a spokesperson for the ex-Iraqi President. "There are only so many of these mindless British harridans a man can face and still retain his sanity." Channel Four are confident that the execution - for which they have special dispensation from the Home Office - will not only boost viewing figures, but will also help quell the public ill will generated by the earlier Jade Goody-racism row.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Destroy All Reality TV!

The world has finally taken leave of its senses. Either that, or television news coverage of the media has reached new heights of hyperbole. According to the news broadcast I've just seen (and I must emphasise that this was an ITV news programme), Celebrity Big Brother is now threatening Britain's reputation abroad and putting lucrative trade deals at risk. What?! Are we talking about the same thing? There was me thinking that Celebrity Big Brother was just another heap of mindless shite designed to burn out the remaining brain cells of this country's growing army of drooling morons, but it turns out that it is actually some kind of giant behemoth, trampling nations beneath its feet, as it rampages wildly around the globe. Of course, what this is all about is the treatment of the Bollywood star who has been foolish enough to agree to participate in this year's money-spinning charade for Channel Four. Apparently her legion of fans in India, not to mention a significant proportion of the UK's population, feel that she has been the subject of racist bullying. What the hell did everyone expect when the house was filled with what can only charitably described as trailer trash and no-marks?

As I haven't been demented enough to watch the programme, I really can't comment on whether the treatment this lady has received is actually racist or not. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that it simply the result of the kind of ignorance which seems to be valued by certain sections of British society. It seems to stem from an arrogant belief that we are somehow superior to other cultures ('we used to have an Empire, y'know'), and therefore shouldn't be expected to understand or respect them. Whilst I'm not surprised to find that such ugly attitudes have surfaced in a reality TV programme which thrives on manufacturing conflict between its participants (all in the name of entertainment, of course), I am somewhat dismayed to see it having such a disproportionate impact on the 'real' world. However, there's a very slight chance that some good might come of it all, if people actually begin to realise just how repugnant such attitudes make us appear to the rest of the world. Although I suspect the press will react, as usual, by defensively retreating into stereotyped Britishness and telling these 'bloody foreigners' to fuck off and mind their own business. They will undoubtedly come up with lots of examples of how it is them who are intolerant and racist, not us. In the short term, I fear that the UN will have little choice but to call upon Japan to reactivate Godzilla to try and battle this out of control monster to the death, before it destroys us all!


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Burn, Nonce, Burn!

"It's their own fault for looking like fuckin' weirdoes, innit?" opines twenty year old Portsmouth man Darren Titt, following his arrest to for attempting to burn down a house used by the local authority to house vulnerable adults with learning difficulties. "How was I to know they weren't bloody peadophiles? I mean, they were wearing thick glasses and never used to speak to anyone else on the estate!" Titt and a gang of associates had waged a campaign of terror against the house after rumours spread around the Blotcher housing estate in Cosham that it was being used as a 'halfway house' to rehabilitate sex offenders back into the community. Released on police bail, pending his appearance before Portsmouth Magistrates Court next month, Titt remains unrepentant about his actions. "Listen, those freaks wuz always lookin' at kiddies playin' near that house, no normal bloke does a thing like that," he claims. "They should never have put 'em in a house next to a playground."

Titt believes that he and his gang were doing the local community a favour. "Even if they weren't kiddie fiddlers, it was only a matter of time before they started doing it - it's well known that nonces are all mentally subnormal," says the unemployed knee-wrencher, who was excluded from school at sixteen, with no qualifications. "I was only doin' what any normal bloke would do - protectin' the interests of my child. The thought of her being drooled over by one of those weirdoes makes my skin crawl. Blokes who want to have sex with underage girls want stringin' up!" Titt's two year old daughter currently lives twenty miles away in Southampton, with his estranged sixteen year old partner.

This isn't the first incident of its kind, two years ago a house on the nearby Scutter estate was attacked by local vigilantes who believed it was being used to accommodate peadophiles. It was only after a fatal fire bomb attack, which killed three of the occupants, that it was established that it had, in fact, been occupied by released rapists. "I can honestly say that I have only ever committed rape to satisfy my entirely normal heterosexual perversions," fifty six year old Gerald Scudd, who survived the blaze, later told the press. "Mind you, I can quite understand why people got upset - if I found that one of those filthy child molesting vermin were living next door to me, I'd probably want to garotte them. Sexual offences against children are quite deplorable and I've always tried to make sure that my victims are above the age of consent. However, if I have ever inadvertently raped anyone under sixteen, I apologise unreservedly."

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Fate as a Washing Machine (Part Three)

I would never have believed the amazing peace of mind replacing a household appliance could bring me. The arrival of my new washing machine the other day has heralded a new age of peace and relaxation in my house. For the first time in what seems like decades, I can simply load the machine, close the kitchen door and safely leave it to get on with its job without wondering whether it is flooding the kitchen, destroying the rest of the kitchen fixtures as it careers wildly around on its spin cycle, or whether it is going to trip the mains switch as it threatens to unbalance itself as it spins out of control. I also now know that I am safe from fear of fatal attacks in my own home - I can wander into the kitchen safe in the knowledge that my washing machine isn't going to try and electrocute me. Trust me, being subjected to multiple assassination attempts by an out of control electrical appliance certainly frays the nerves!

Of course, when I look back, I can see that I really should have taken action against the bastard long ago. It had clearly been plotting against me for years. There were several occasions when I went into the kitchen after the spin cycle had ended to find the washing machine standing in the middle of the kitchen, facing the door to the living room. I'd always assumed that it had simply vibrated its way there. I can now see that it was really trying to catch me by surprise by bursting into the living room as I watched TV and drowning me in soapy water. Luckily for me, it was always foiled by the relative shortness of its hoses and electrical supply lead. Mind you, despite its good behaviour, the new washing machine does give me some grounds for worrying. It's disturbingly intelligent, calculating wash and spin times and the amount of water to use automatically on the basis of the load and selected programme. Far too clever for a washing machine. How long will it be before it decides that I'm an inferior life form and decides to eliminate me? Or, even worse, it gets together wit its brothers to enslave humanity, and get us to do our washing by hand, whilst the super-intelligent washing machines devote their time to devising a unified field theory instead?


Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Brief Return to Bondage

I did finally get around to seeing Casino Royale over Christmas. The only real criticism of it I have is that it didn't include a pre-title sequence in which we see Pierce Brosnan's Bond disgracing himself at the MI6 Christmas party by photocopying his arse and faxing it to allied intelligence agencies worldwide, before groping Moneypenny in the stationary cupboard. Finally, he gets his whang out, stands in the corner of M's office and pretends to be a hat stand. Our last sight of him would be in the background, being escorted off the premises by security following a disciplinary hearing. As M emerges from the hearing, she could have told the waiting Daniel Craig that there was finally an opening in the double-O section...


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Take the Money!

And I'll tell you another thing on TV which is really getting my goat - this spate of programme's where millionaires condescend to shower their largesse on the working classes. There's one where they even go 'undercover' to some deprived area to meet the locals (how awful for them) and decide which one is the most deserving case for their charity. Jesus Christ! Can television get much more patronising toward the working classes? The only thing which could make this worse would be if said millionaire was to hold court, perhaps with a couple of his wealthy mates, and get those whacky plebs to plead, or maybe even perform, for some of his cash. Obviously, ITV decided that was exactly what their schedules needed and we now have the sight of Jeffrey Archer (the lying bastard), agonising over whether to give a few thousand of his hard won(!) cash to that bloke with the wooden leg or the kid who can amusingly juggle syringes. Fuck me! I really don't what is worse: the programme's basic -highly offensive - concept, or the fact that it provides convicted perjurer and ex-con Jeffrey Archer with yet more undeserved publicity.

Look, I know it must be hell having all that money, spending all day and night agonising over how best to use it, and how it must really sap your self-esteem, but surely there are better ways for millionaires to use their money for good works? Sure, anonymous donations to charitable causes won't give you quite the same ego-boost, but I'm sure it would be more effective. In fact, if you really feel the need to redistribute your wealth that badly, why not just give it all away? You could still get a bit of publicity out of it if, say, you were to put all your dosh into a big sack and run out into the street naked, throwing handfuls of money into the air. Come to think of it, wouldn't make better TV than Jeffrey 'Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire' Archer encouraging care in the community psychiatric patients to wire their bollocks up to the National Grid, by offering them huge wads of cash?

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cruel and Unusual?

The Iraqi authorities have reacted angrily to suggestions from Tony Blair and other western politicians that the manner of Saddam Hussein's execution was 'completely wrong '. "Such allegations are outrageous - Saddam was allowed to die with dignity," declared Justice Ministry spokesperson Ali Khacker. "We allowed him to choose his own method of execution - he asked for auto-asphyxiation." According to Khacker the former Iraqi dictator was hanged with a tangerine in his mouth, whilst wearing women's underwear and masturbating himself with the aid of a rope tied around his ankles. "Trust me, he died with a smile on his face and a huge erection," the spokesperson claims. "In fact, his bonk on was so massive it burst out of his trousers and knocked unconscious three spectators in the front row! Even people standing at the back of the room were sprayed by Saddam's final ejaculation!" Challenged by journalists as to why none of this appears on any of the illicit videos of the execution which have surfaced on TV and the internet, Khacker claimed that the videos had been edited by Sunni insurgents determined to discredit the Shia-dominated government. "They want the world to believe Saddam's death was cruel and undignified," he explains, "when in reality it was unusual, but completely humane!"

Khacker also explained that many of the things seen in these heavily edited videos has been completely misunderstood by the Western press. "All those insults the executioners and spectators were supposedly shouting at Saddam - they were just talking dirty, as he requested," he says. "It is well known that he couldn't get it up unless he could here some obscene sexy talk." The masks worn by the executioners were apparently leather bondage masks. "Originally they were going to give him a bit of a beating, but at the last minute Saddam decided to keep it simple, instead," says Khacker. "Obviously, we respected his wishes." Khacker also accused the West of having double standards when it came to the manner in which criminals were executed. "Let's not forget the notorious Texas child murderer Phil Cackpipe, who was executed by exposure to lethal amounts of child pornography, " he says. "And what about of Jim Bunghole, the Arkansas serial killer responsible for the deaths of eight homosexuals? They had him publicly buggered to death by a specially-selected team of State Troopers! If that isn't cruel and unusual, I don't know what is!"


Monday, January 08, 2007

Quatermass and The Shit

I take the fact that the television's new year has kicked off with a surfeit of celebrity-orientated 'reality' TV as further proof that the End Times are upon us. How else can one explain the continued presence upon our screens of the likes of Jade Goody and Russell Brand? Indeed, that's why I find 'Celebrity' Big Brother particularly offensive, not only does it drag a parade of desperate has-beens, exhibitionists and total wankers, all trying vainly to breath life into the dying embers of their media 'careers', across my TV tube, it also gives Channel Four another excuse to wheel out that shambling twat Brand, in his role as some kind of 'commentator'. Why does Channel Four persist with him? Every show he has fronted has been cancelled. Clearly, audiences can't stand him. The only explanation for his continued existence is that either has compromising photographs of the entire Channel Four board rutting with underage baboons, or he is some agent of evil. Right now, I'm tending toward the latter explanation.

Obviously, having discovered that there are enough drooling morons out there to form a viable audience for dross like 'Big Brother', TV execs are hell-bent on trying to drag the rest of us down to this same level by constantly bombarding us with this mindless shit in the expectation it will cause our brains to melt. The role of the Russell Brands in all this is to convince those of us still in possession of our faculties that the path to success lies in behaving like an arsehole. The only slim hope I have is that the late Nigel Kneale proves to be right. Prior to predicting the advent of 'reality' TV in his prescient 1960s TV play Year of The Sex Olympics, Kneale's Quatermass and The Pit had suggested that human intelligence was the result of genetic and social engineering by the long extinct Martians, several million years ago. When released back to the Earth, the 'modified' apemen would - in response to a signal from the Martian spaceship - use their telekinetic powers to cull any non-modified apemen in the vicinity, so as to ensure the predominance of their own genes. I am now fervently hoping that, as in the Quatermass serial, a crashed Martian ship is uncovered on a construction site, and that it emits the culling signal, enabling us to unleash our hidden powers and vanquish the morons. Of course, there's always the chance that it'll turn out to be them who have the hidden powers, and that they'll use them to reduce the rest of us to their level by addling our brains...

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Fate as a Washing Machine (Part Two)

When I started this blog, I vowed that it wasn't going to degenerate into some chronicle of my boring life. However, when your washing machine makes an attempt on your life, I feel that one has something worth mentioning. A while ago I mentioned my washing machine's propensity for flooding the kitchen and tripping the mains cut off when its spin cycle got out of control. Well, after a few weeks of behaving itself, the bastard returned to form yesterday, flooding the kitchen not once, but twice. This time around it seems that seals have gone on the door. Anyway, as I was in my kitchen, standing in an ever deepening pool of water whilst attempting to switch the programme to 'drain', I received an electric shock from the accursed device! Clearly, it had carefully thought out its strategy, knowing that I'm rarely wearing shoes in the house on a Friday evening, and that I'd lean on the stainless steel sink unit whilst changing the programme, thereby completing a circuit. Thankfully, the bastard couldn't muster sufficient current to do me in, just make me jump. Actually, looking back, the fact that it tripped the mains switch probably saved me from worse.

I wouldn't mind, but technically speaking this was the second attempt on my life the washing machine had made in two days. On Thursday, whilst laying some new vinyl flooring in the aforementioned kitchen (what an exciting life I lead), I found myself engaged in a battle with the washing machine when I attempted to move it to get the old flooring up. The damn thing nearly fell on me. As it was, I nearly ruptured myself shifting it about. I suppose that with two attempts to kill under its belt, the washing machine could be eligible for 'double-O' status. Perhaps we'll see it the next Bond movie. You certainly won't be seeing it in my kitchen for much longer. I ordered a new one today - it arrives next Saturday, leaving the old washing machine another week to try and take my life. I'll be on my guard (and wearing rubber-soled shoes in the kitchen).


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy Holidays?

Apparently I'm one of those idle bastards damaging the economy by having the audacity to take two weeks off at Christmas and not go back to work until the second week of January. According to a report by one of those groups which seems to do nothing but come up with sort of report, more and more people are doing this. Well, so bloody what, you miserable gits? It's my annual leave I'm using up! Who the hell wants to work at this time of year anyway, if they can help it? For what it is worth, this is the first time off I've had since the end of August. I was bloody exhausted. Not that this break has been much of a rest. I've spent most of it battling illnesses, and today I nearly ruptured myself laying some new flooring in my kitchen (it was shifting the washing machine which had me feeling my groin for lumps). The remainder of my time off is going to be spent preparing lessons for my teaching placement next week.

I wouldn't mind, but every bloody year we get this same cobblers from the CBI or some other group linked to employers - if they aren't moaning about the amount of holidays being taken, they're trying to claim that everyone is pulling a sickie. Fuck off! I know it's outrageous, but this is the twenty first century and we workers do have statutory rights when it comes to paid leave! These self same employers don't seem to worry too much about lost productivity when they book their skiing holidays or winter breaks in Barbados. The fact is that this country still has fewer public holidays than virtually any of its Western European neighbours. Curiously enough, their productivity seems unaffected. Actually, this obsession with productivity always strikes me as being rather strange, bearing in mind that Maggie ensured the virtual destruction of our manufacturing industries. I wouldn't have thought that the service and financial industries which our economy now seems to be based on were so tied to such crude measures of performance. Maybe someone could do a study of that?


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year, Same Old Sleaze

OK, I'm back. More or less. Severe sinus problems followed by a cold have had me sidelined for a few days, but my vital functions are beginning to kick back in. It's good to see that the new year is shaping up to be just as shit as the last one. Within hours of Saddam's execution, there were people using Google to try and find 'explicit pictures Saddam hanging' - I know, because their poorly defined search term brought up one of my old stories which simply contained those four words (but not in that phrasing). What kind of sick fuck looks for that sort of thing? Really? Of course, as it turned out, explicit footage of Saddam's execution really did exist. It turns out that a whole bunch of sick fucks were present at the event with their bloody video-enabled mobile phones, and happily released it in all its gruesome detail to the world. The ultimate in happy-slapping, I suppose. Maybe it will start a trend - people staging impromptu executions and recording the results on their mobiles. I'm sure it would prove an instant success on YouTube.

Anyway, getting to the point - the pictures of Saddam's execution surely plunge the human race to new low. I know that he was a very bad man and that justice had to be seen to be done, etc,. But I really don't care. Even the worst of people deserve to be given some dignity under such circumstances. Surely the way in which we treat the likes of Saddam says something about us - shouldn't it define the difference between the likes of him and the likes of us (decent human beings, or so we like to think)? The treatment he received in his last minutes was every bit as inhumane and indefensible as anything he and his lackeys were responsible for - being 'decent' human beings surely means that we don't behave in such a way. Not even to our worst enemies, or the most depraved of criminals. The only good thing to have come out of this whole distasteful business is the growing wave of revulsion amongst civilised people.

With a start this sordid, the year can only get worse. I shudder to think what further depravities and affronts to human decency 2007 has in store for us. Indeed, with regard to such things, I really must start writing for The Sleaze as a matter of urgency - illness has but me way behind schedule. Mind you, despite the lack of new material, traffic is still buoyant. Ah well, on with the show...

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