Monday, April 30, 2007

Massive Mammary Menace Strikes Britain

The authorities have moved swiftly to assuage fears that pneumatic model Jordan's outsize breasts might have 'gone rogue'. "Whilst these huge wallopies currently pose no threat to the public, if sighted, they should not, under any circumstances, be approached," Home Secretary John Reid told a press conference. "They should only be tackled by expert handlers." Worries that the breasts could have turned wild arose following press reports of the illness of Jordan's husband, self-styled singer Peter Andre. Despite statements from the hospital treating him that Mr Andre was suffering from meningitis, rumours were rife that he had actually been either crushed or suffocated by the gigantic gazonkas. "Even if that were the case, it still wouldn't be evidence that Jordan's titanic tits had turned vicious," declared a spokesperson for the couple. "It could simply have been an accident - hundreds of people a year are injured in accidents involving outsize breasts according the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Not that Peter was suffocated by them, obviously." Despite such reassurances, speculation that the monster mammaries have been on a murderous rampage are rife, although police in Jamaica have denied making enquiries to establish the whereabouts of Jordan's bodacious boobs on the night of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer's murder.

There has also been much speculation that - in addition to assaulting and possibly murdering several people - Jordan's breasts might also have been the cause of the recent earthquake which devastated large parts of Kent. Indeed, several eye-witnesses claim to have seen the huge honkers bouncing across the Garden of England, setting off massive earth tremors and crushing all in their path. "I came round the corner and there they were, bouncing up and down," says retired milkman Ron Hippler, who claims to have encountered the terrifying tremblers on a country road just outside Sevenoaks. "First the right one would fly up in the air and, just as it came crashing back down, the left one would go up! You could feel the earth moving with the repeated impacts - trees and telegraph poles were collapsing left, right and centre!" With the whamdanglers bearing down on him, Hippler desperately tried to put his car in to reverse, but succeeded only in stalling it. "I managed to leap clear just in time," he claims. "A few seconds later and I would have been crushed to death as the left one came crashing down on my Nissan Micra!" Mr Hippler's insurance company is currently refusing to pay out, claiming that his policy didn't cover giant breast attacks.

However, claims that the fearsome funsacks had been behind the Kent earthquakes have been dismissed by many commentators. "Everybody knows that illegal immigrants are behind this disaster," declares Ramsgate Tory councillor Reginald Plumpy. "With hundreds of thousands of them flooding into Kent through the Channel Tunnel everyday was inevitably going to have a seismic impact - the county simply cannot take their combined weight!" Others believe that the cause of the earthquake might be even more sinister. "My cousin who knows a bloke who delivers the milk to MI5 reckons that they intercepted a text message sent to every Muslim in Kent, ordering them to jump up and down simultaneously at the time of the earth tremor," says Tonbridge pizza delivery boy Rick Dangler. "Luckily, some of them had their phones turned off and didn't get it in time, otherwise the whole county could have fallen into the sea!" Jordan's breasts, meanwhile, are reported to have been captured in a specially reinforced brassiere, with underwire support, after being cornered in a Dover lap dancing club.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Hearts of Uranium

People get so worked up about the most trivial things. Take this business of body parts removed from nuclear facility workers (presumably during post-mortems) being stored at nuclear sites - it caused quite a furore the other week, with relatives ranting on about how outrageous it was that it had been done without their consent. Jesus! Don't these people realise that the nuclear industry is just trying to protect them? Surely everybody must know by now that irradiated human beings (and if the organ donors were nuclear workers undergoing post-mortems, we must assume that they had received fatal doses of radiation), inevitably mutate into horrible glowing mutants with a taste for human flesh. Do we really want hordes of these atomic zombies rampaging around Britain, felling people by the dozen with their deadly radioactive touch? I think not. Clearly, by removing some of the vital organs, the nuclear industry was merely ensuring that they were incapacitated.

Obviously, these organs could themselves be dangerous, even when separated from their host body. Hence the need to lock them away securely. Britain's cities really can do without being menaced by huge pulsating hearts, eerily glowing, as vastly enlarged by exposure to radiation, they crawl the streets in search of blood. Even worse, killer kidneys could be engulfing people - when they weren't being blinded by the bile being squirted in their eyes by evil livers. Yes indeed, we could all be strangled in our beds by lengths of slithering intestines. Thanks to the foresight of those brave boys at our nuclear research facilities, women can walk the streets at night, safe in the knowledge that they won't be sexually assaulted by a set of glowing disembodied hands. (Actually, to digress slightly, have you ever thought how useful a set of glowing hands would be for sex offenders? It would make groping in the dark much easier - they'd be able to quite clearly see what they were doing). So, before you start bleating on about how terrible this alleged organ scandal is, spare a thought for those working at AWE Aldermaston and similar sites, who have to guard and tend to row upon row of cages full of such hideous mutated organs day and night, living with the ever-present threat of them breaking out and wreaking havoc...

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

More Writer's Blog

OK, so here I am trying to write another story for The Sleaze. Once again, I just can't seem to get started. Which is quite frustrating, as I've had a pretty good run of being able to get the buggers written lately. Having said that, this particular story has been causing me trouble for a while now. It was meant to have gone in last week, but, having failed to get a handle on it, I swapped it with Blown Away, which was far easier to write, the first paragraph already being to hand in the form the original first paragraph of Sex Bomb which I'd discarded. The idea behind this new story is quite clear, it is just the execution which is proving problematical. It is another tilt at the whole business of conspiracy theories, putting forward the idea that the promulgation of such theories is itself part of the real global conspiracy to divert people's attention from what is really going on. This is an idea I've been harbouring for several years now, inspired, in part, by Richard Condon's Kennedy Assassination roman a clef Winter Kills, in which the protagonist discovers that all of the various conspiracies surrounding his brother's death that he has investigated, were simply inventions to divert him from the truth. They've all been devised by a former academic employed by the real villain, and all contain just enough truth to seem plausible.

Clearly, one of the key elements for this proposed story will be exactly what the truth being concealed is - to unveil it as simply another wild conspiracy would defeat the object. The most plausible ultimate 'truth' I can come up with is that the world really is as mundane as it seems, and its leaders really are as flawed and incompetent as they appear. That isn't what has been holding me back. Rather, it is the 'framing' of the whole concept which has had me stumped. I think I've finally come up with an approach: a schism in the world of conspiracy theorists. The story can be presented as reporting the controversy stemming from the publication of one theorist's revolutionary article (suggesting the theory outlined in the first paragraph of this post) in the main (fictional) conspiracy journal, and the reaction of his conspiracy community peers, particularly their disappointment in his final conclusion that there is no overarching global conspiracy. By charting his disenchantment with conspiracies, the whole field can be satirised. In the course of all this, various of my pet (completely made up) conspiracy theories can be brought in as the theories championed by his rivals, for further piss-taking. I've always liked the 'feuding whackos' format for stories - I've previously used it successfully on Die, Lady Di and The Monster Hunters.

Once again, working out the story details in a post seems to have helped! Hopefully, I'll be able to get cracking on this story soon and hopefully get it posted some when toward the end of next week. Keep watching The Sleaze!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Come the Revolution

You know what Britain's problems all stem from? (This is getting to be a habit - opening posts with a rhetorical question/rant). Over-privileged hooray Henrys who control our finances. You know the sort: David Cameron and his cronies. He typifies this sort of arsehole - a total opportunist with no real convictions, save for a commitment to increasing his own personal wealth. They're generally born to money (although not necessarily the 'old' money of the landed classes, but the 'new' money of stock brokers, generated by the city via share dealing, currency speculation and hedge funds. These are the shady characters behind the private equity groups currently asset stripping their way through Britain's businesses. What they have in common is that they're - in the main - a bunch of public school tossers who, when younger, used to attend those 'dining clubs', where they'd wreck a local bar or restaurant, then pay off the owner to avoid any criminal charges. (Or, probably more accurately, get their Daddies to pay off the owners).

But how best to overcome this problem? Well, the obvious solution is to kill the lot of 'em. Whilst it is probably too late to do much about the generation currently worming their way into power, there's still time to nip the latest lot of the bastards who are just taking their first steps onto the ladder of prosperity. The best opportunity will come when they're attending one of these 'dining clubs'. As I see it, there are a couple of options, brothers and sisters of the revolution. The most obvious is that we could infiltrate the occasion disguised as waiters and piss in their soup. I have no doubt that their effete blue-blooded metabolisms - fed on haute cuisine and lubricated by fine wines - simply won't be able to take a dose of some good honest working class urine, laced, as it is, with strong lager, chips and greasy burgers. If not fatally poisoning them, at the very least it might render them sterile. The second option is to make out sure the prostitute they hire to ritually humiliate before getting her to fellate their flaccid penises, (whilst I have no direct evidence this goes on at these 'dining clubs', it stands to reason that decadent shit bags with money to burn are bound to get up to such shenanigans), is actually riddled with gonorrhea and/or every other form of the clap known to humanity. Once again, if it doesn't kill them, it might sterilise them.

Having metaphorically castrated these gits before they've had the chance to reproduce, what then? Well, I'd think that was obvious, brothers and sisters - seduce and roger their wives and girlfriends senseless! Yes, that's the way ahead - make out sure that their offspring are actually sired by the workers! Let's face facts, it'd be the first time they'd ever have got anything like satisfaction from the sexual act. It would be a real relief after all those limp dicks which had resulted from our sabotaging of the 'dining clubs'. Now, I know what you are thinking - surely the process of socialisation will ensure that by being brought up in this privileged lifestyle, these children will simply turn out to be tossers themselves? Ah, fear not, for I am confident that their true genetic heritage will prevail, and their working class vigour will overcome the vulgar materialism of their upbringing! Even if it doesn't, we'll still have the satisfaction of knowing that our new ruling classes are secretly ours, carrying our genes! Come the revolution! Or, maybe that should be cum the revolution?


Monday, April 23, 2007

Time and Again...

Do you know what one of my favourite parts of the day is? Of course you don't. I don't know why I'm asking such a stupid question. However, I'll tell you what one of my favourite bits of the day is - it is that period which comes just before you wake up fully, when you drift in that strange netherworld between sleep and consciousness. It is a strange state, in which you are aware of sounds and movements around you, and have conscious, rational thoughts, but at the same time, your subconscious continues to spin dream-like fantasies, usually guided by those thoughts. Lately, I've been using this time to explore one of my perennial obsessions - the question of if I could go back in time to earlier points in my life, what could I do to change it for the better? The most obvious point I could go back to would be nearly ten years ago, when - due in large part to my own arrogance and complacency - I had a spectacular falling out with my then employer and lost my (very well paid) job. Whilst I survived the subsequent monetary difficulties (not to mention difficulties in finding new employment), life could have been a lot easier. For one thing, I might not have started losing my hair so rapidly!

But, even if I could somehow drift back to the late 1990s and somehow warn my younger self away from danger, would things have turned out any better? As I span my fantasy of not being sacked, and moved my life on from that point, I realised that I still wouldn't have been happy. I didn't believe in what I was doing any more. I had no sympathy with the aims of my employer and detested most of the people I worked for and with (with the honourable exception of my then office-mates). The fact is that even before I lost that job, I was feeling vaguely dissatisfied with my life and was increasingly casting my semi-conscious mind back to circa 1970 -it had seemed to me at the time that everything after this point had been downhill! There was also the question of all the things that I wouldn't have done if I'd kept that job. I probably wouldn't be writing The Sleaze, or this blog, for that matter. I probably wouldn't have met one of the closest friend I now have - would I really be willing to trade her friendship for a job and financial security? Whilst I lost of material benefits as a result of my sacking, I've subsequently gained a greater degree of emotional security and satisfaction. The truth is, despite having had to accept some truly shitty work to make ends meet, I've ended up in a happier place than I was before.

Which brings me, ramblingly, to my point. In truth, even if we could, is there anything in our past that we should change? After all, isn't all that life experience, whether good or bad, what made us who we are now? I suppose if you've turned out to be a serial killer, say, then there might be a case for changing things. Then again, you probably quite enjoy your 'work'. Whatever. The long and the short of it is, that I've decided that I'm going to have to find a new subject for those fantasies I enjoy when on the cusp of consciousness...


Friday, April 20, 2007

Living Life to the Extreme

Bear Grylls. He's really getting on my tits. Not that I actually watch his programmes on Channel 4, but he's one of those extreme survival-type twats. They all get on my tits. Why in God's name do they think that I should be interested if they go out into some God forsaken wilderness and survive for five weeks with a muddy puddle as their only source of water? Big deal. How macho. How utterly irrelevant to most people's lives. I really do get fed up with them banging on about how they survived alone (except for that camera crew, of course), in the desert for six months, (the fact that if they really got into trouble the TV company would send out a helicopter to rescue them didn't eliminate the risk, of course). If they just want the adrenaline rush, fine. Don't inflict your attempts to achieve it on me. But of course, they want the rush whilst eliminating any real risk. They want to survive to get back to their nice luxury home back in Surbiton, or wherever, to impress the neighbours with their daring escapades over cocktails.

I might be a bit more impressed if they lived their entire lives to the extreme. Perhaps they do. Maybe Mr Grylls has his toilet bowl filled with piranhas, so as to make taking a dump more exciting - he has to suspend himself from a rope over the bowl before he voids his bowels, so as to avoid any chance of the fish leaping up and mauling his nads. Flushing is another ordeal as the chain has poisonous snakes coiled around it... Just to make his discomfort complete, he wipes his arse with that really shiny and nasty toilet paper you used to find in public crappers. If that doesn't give him a rush, I don't know what would. Just to add to his high risk lifestyle, he could buy only foodstuffs which were close to their sell-by date, thereby making every meal a game of Russian roulette - will he go down with potentially fatal food poisoning, or will it just be a case of the trots and another desperate visit to that piranha-infested toilet?

Perhaps I'm being unfair to Bear Grylls and his ilk. Actually, no. I don't think I am. I don't think it unreasonable for me to get sick to death of seeing these extreme tossers deliberately placing themselves in risky situations - which they could easily have avoided - and then expecting me to be impressed by the fact that they're risking life and limb to do something very, very DANGEROUS! And stupid. It's like that bloody Steve Irwin, forever showing us dangerous snakes, for instance, telling us how they're only a threat if provoked, before poking them with a stick. Pillock! Sorry, I know he's dead, under tragic circumstances, but I still think he was a pillock. Don't ask me to be impressed by your daring escapes from the jaws of death, when you go looking for trouble, wrestling crocodiles and the like. Just use a bloody tranquiliser gun to subdue them, like everybody else. Better still, stay at home and leave the poor bastards alone!

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's Gonna Taste Fake!

Yes, that bloody advert for Frosties is back. Or at least a new version of it. But, as I predicted many, many posts ago, that irritating kid in it is different! This can only fuel the rumours that the original Frosties boy is dead, that he died shortly after making the advert, in fact. Of course, I bet that if you were to contact Kelloggs, they'd tell you that the kid hadn't changed, although he's obviously completely different! It's Paul McCartney all over again! It can only be a matter of time before bands of intrepid conspiracy theorists start setting up websites comparing screen grabs of the two different Frosties kids, highlighting the differences and the evidence of obvious plastic surgery.

The other question which needs answering is whether or not Tony the Tiger has been replaced as well? Is that really the Tony we all know and love in that new ad? Or did he have to go as well? Did he know too much about the kid's replacement. Or maybe he's the same, and is actually the mastermind behind it all? Perhaps the original kid was taking too much attention away from the real star of the campaign and had to go! Conspiracists of the world wide web unite! We have a right to know the truth!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Entitled to an Opinion?

Why is it that people feel entitled to offer me their completely unsolicited opinions on various issues? On a daily basis I find myself regaled by just about every strolling pillock it is my misfortune to encounter, with their views on everything from illegal immigrants, Tony Blair, Jose Mourinho or the possibility of prehistoric apemen living in the Cotswolds. The one thing that all of these utterances have in common is that they are totally moronic and bereft of any intellectual values. Indeed, they are based on such a high level of ignorance of their given subject, that I probably shouldn't even grace them with the term opinions. Bigotry, would perhaps be a better description. Even when these utterances are in any way 'informed', it usually turns out that their 'factual' basis is either The Sun or Daily Mail, or, even worse, 'received opinion', from the radio, internet or some bloke down the pub. Every time I find myself bombarded with this bollocks, I just silently scream: "Shut the fuck up! When I'm desperate enough to want your opinion, I'll shoot myself!" Whatever happened to the 'good old days' when dispensing this sort of 'wisdom' was the preserve of taxi drivers and barbers? I blame the rise of radio phone ins for encouraging every Tom, Dick or twat to think that their idiotic babblings are interesting enough to be inflicted on a wider audience.

Even worse than being subjected to the opinions of morons with regard to world events, is being offered their opinions in the form of advice with regard to your personal conduct. Once again, this is inevitably completely unsolicited. As an example; many years ago a lift in the building I worked in was failing to respond as I tried to call it to the ground floor. As one does in such situations, I repeatedly pressed the call button. Suddenly, without provocation, this complete stranger standing behind me, says: "That doesn't do any good, you know". Excuse me? Did I ask for your opinion? Are you a highly trained lift engineer? Fuck off! Did I say any of these things in reply? No, I didn't. What I did say was: "Actually, it does do some good - it makes me feel better". At which point the lift arrived, thereby exposing his unwanted 'advice' for the abject shite it actually was. Increasingly, I find this sort of thing extending beyond unsolicited advice, to unsolicited observations and remarks from strangers. I used to have a very battered briefcase I used for work - it was literally bulging with the amount of paperwork I had to cram into it. The number of times complete arse wards felt it necessary to say something along the lines of "You need a new suitcase mate!" or, "It's about to burst, mate!", to me in the street. What's it to you dickless? Why don't you mind your own fucking business, shit for brains? Once again, I've never actually said either of those things in reply. I've thought them, though. Actually, it never ceases to amaze me that, in a society where, increasingly, nobody ever sees anything when a crime is committed, or wants to get involved in campaigns and the like, people seem so eager to poke their noses into your personal business. Is it any wonder I increasingly want to be a recluse?

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Monday, April 16, 2007

No News Like Non-News

I see they've finally put the passenger list from the Titanic online. About bloody time too - at long last I can set my mind at rest and check that nobody I know is still missing! Yes indeed folks, not only does it feel like high summer here, but the media seem to think that the 'silly season' has also arrived early, judging by the stories dominating the headlines over recent days. Actually, I'm not sure you can even grace these items with the term 'story', they are so inconsequential. Mind you, the fact that the Titanic's passenger list is now available on the web, seems like a masterpiece of investigative journalism, compared to the 'top' story over the weekend. Apparently Prince William (or maybe it was Harry, I really don't know or care), has split up with his girlfriend. Really? No shit! Do I look like I give a fuck? Obviously, I must, as this piece of earth-shattering news has been rammed down my throat for days. Jesus Christ! Surely, somewhere in the world, there must be a more significant story than this tittle tattle? What made it even worse were the attempts to flesh out this non-story with speculation on why they split up - was pressure brought to bear by the Queen? Again, I don't give a flying fuck! It doesn't matter, and can be of no interest whatsoever to anyone except the pair of over-privileged non-entities involved.

Mind you, some of the other 'stories' it was keeping out of the limelight weren't that great, either. Take the ongoing (and extremely tedious) saga of the sailors who were allowed to sell their stories of captivity at the hands of the Iranians to the press. Again, a non-story. Servicemen have always been able to sell their stories, with permission from the Navy/Army/Air Force. But hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good story, eh? Interesting how nobody questions the rights and wrongs of a serving British General to question official strategy in Iraq via the press (as happened a few months ago). Or whether it was OK for a former senior Treasury official to publicly criticize Gordon Brown? You can't help but suspect that the root cause of this furore is the need to compensate for the fact that the two stories published were so dull! Having your i-pod taken away is hardly on the same level as having your fingernails torn out, when it comes to torture. Having failed to generate outrage over the beastly behaviour of those nasty Iranians, the press needed to justify the thousands it had paid for these accounts by instead whipping up a storm about how outrageous it was that they were allowed to buy them in the first place! What a bunch of tossers!

In the meantime, legitimate stories, such as the disappearance of a BBC correspondent in Gaza, or the President of the World Bank (a former Bush crony), allegedly abusing his position to advance his girlfriend's career, get pushed further down the page. Out of sight, out of mind. You know, I think I prefer the real 'silly season'. At least those tales of flying saucers landing in Somerset, or the Skegness monster taking its holidays in Benidorm, enliven the dog days of August, and don't purport to be anything other than nonsense.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

I Love it When a Pope Comes Together

I'm not just misreading things in newspapers now, I'm mishearing them, as well. Every time the current Pope has been mentioned on the radio lately, I've completely misunderstood, and thought that they were talking about Dirk Benedict, the former A-Team and Battlestar Galactica star, rather than Pope Benedict. Now, I know that this is due, in part at least, to the fact that I'm often listening to the radio news while I'm still half asleep in the mornings. However, would it really be such an unreasonable idea to have the Face Man as Pontiff? I mean, he has the kind of qualities which would surely be beneficial to a spiritual leader - charismatic, quick witted, can talk his way out of tricky theological conundrums, like legalising abortion. Plus, just look at all the good works he did whilst with the A-Team - hardly a week went by without them helping out some down-trodden community against evil drug dealers, pimps, biker gangs and Nazis, (all of whom were undoubtedly Satanists, atheist or, even worse, Protestants). Also, just like our present Pope he has a shady military background, although in Face's case he can legitimately claim that he was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit.

So, there you have it. Wouldn't you rather see leather jacketed, cigar chomping Dirk Benedict as Pope rather than some super-annuated ex-Nazi? Surely that's more the image the Roman Catholic church would like to project: virile, gun-toting (though he never shoots anyone fatally) and with a mischievous twinkle in his eye? He could make his buddies BA and Howling Mad Murdock cardinals, and they could go around the world kicking ass for Christ as they depose evil dictators, vanquish non-believers and blow up a few condom factories. He could even initiate the beatification of the late Hannibal Smith, former leader of the A-Team. It wouldn't be difficult to prove his divinity - he performed minor miracles every week on the A-Team. Not least by managing to read those bloody scripts with a relatively straight face. Yep, Pope Dirk Benedict I, that's who we need in the Vatican! Remember, if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pray hard enough, maybe you can hire the Vatican Team!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Life (and Death) on Mars

OK, so I got it wrong. Life on Mars didn't end with Sam Tyler remembering that he was an exiled Time Lord and making his getaway in his Tardis (which had been conveniently disguised as Gene Hunt's Cortina). But at least I've got the excuse that I hadn't seen the first series, so was missing some vital pieces of information (unlike many other posters on forums and bloggers, who had seen the first series, but still got it spectacularly wrong). Having said that, the actual ending shown on Tuesday has clearly left many fans baffled and/or disappointed, and has itself provoked much speculation as to what it actually meant. I must admit, that I had my own theories, until I read an interview with the writer, Matthew Grahame, who was quite unequivocal: Tyler was in a coma, his 1973 life was all a hallucination, Gene Hunt and the others didn't exist outside of his own head; he did awake in the present following an operation to relieve the pressure on his brain, but found his real life stale and empty compared to his fantasy life. So he jumped off of the roof of the police HQ and, in his dying moments, returned to his 1970s fantasy. The End. Pretty depressing, if you think about it!

However, the BBC's announcement of a follow up where Gene Hunt is encountered in the 1980s by another present day cop in a coma, raises all sorts of questions and, it could be argued, throw the whole ending of Life on Mars into question. If Gene was just a figment of Sam's imagination, how can he turn up in someone else's fantasy? Of course, if you tend toward the Jungian school of psychiatry, you'd doubtless argue that Gene Hunt is an archetypal father figure, probably common to all police officers. But moving away from such purely psychiatric explanations, couldn't it be that Tyler actually did go back to 1973 after his accident, that he did alter some aspects of his future. Maybe he did take the place of an undercover cop sent to infiltrate A Division and bring down Hunt (as Morgan tries to convince him in the last episode). He did then return to the present, find his life there unsatisfactory and jump off the roof. However, the 1973 he returns to at the end this time is a fantasy, as he lies dying (which would explain why it looked so soft-focus compared to the previous views of it, and why everybody was so nice and forgiving of his betrayal). Which, of course, means that Gene et al were real people and allows the sequel series to follow on logically. That's how I would have done it, anyway. But the fact is that the ending we saw was the one that was written, and the one we have to accept.

What fascinates me about this whole thing is the way in which viewers became so attached to characters over a relatively short run (sixteen episodes in total), and this is what makes them so reluctant to accept that most of them were just the figments of a comatose imagination. I have to admit that even I got caught up in it as well (and I've only ever seen the last eight episodes), despite usually being immune to such things. Indeed, as I mentioned in an earlier post, not having seen series one, I really couldn't see what the fuss was about. Nevertheless, after about the third episode I watched, I found myself hooked on the characters. I still thought the 1973 depicted in the series wasn't terribly realistic, but I kept watching for my weekly dose of Gene's wit and wisdom, Sam's exasperation and Chris and Ray's incompetence. All of which has to be a tribute to the strength of the writing and performances. And hey, whether you like the ending or not, when was the last time a piece of popular TV drama sparked so much debate?


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Honest Day's Work...

Do you remember when you were a kid and your parents kept forcing you to do your homework, on the grounds that if you didn't do well at school you'd end up doing some menial task like cleaning toilets or sweeping the street? Obviously, in these more enlightened times we can't go around denigrating the occupations of ordinary decent hard working people in such a way. After all, where would we be without toilet cleaners and street sweepers? Knee deep in shit, that's where. Nevertheless, the sentiment is still there amongst today's parents. Mind you, these days if you leave school without any qualifications you seem to become a city trader, Richard Branson or Alan Sugar. I don't hear too many parents telling their children "Do your homework or you'll grow up to be a multi-millionaire businessman". They could try telling their offspring "If you don't do your homework you'll grow up to be an obnoxious tosser", but I fear that the prospect of wealth outweighs any considerations of the value of ethics, conscience or even good old fashioned decency.

Mind you, if we're to believe the media, kids' ambitions these days don't seem to extend beyond gaining some form of celebrity. That's another thing - when I was young being famous wasn't necessarily seen as something desirable. Oh sure, if your fame was the result of actually doing something worthwhile, like coming up with a cure for cancer, getting the Nobel prize for literature or something like that, it would have been considered OK. Those were the days when leading academics still had a degree of fame and respect based on their expertise, rather than being caught shagging their students or plagiarising their colleagues. But celebrity - where your fame was derived from appearing in films, or making records - was seen as somehow slightly vulgar, and even foolish. How things have changed. Now we apparently hang on the every word and opinion of celebrities. What do those bloody academics know that Bob Geldolf and Bono don't, eh? You know, what I'd really like to hear parents telling their kids is "If you don't do well at school, you'll end up as a celebrity". But sadly, these days, that would be seen as career progression.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Lonesome Tonight?

So, according to the latest research (reported in The Guardian the other day), women tend to choose less successful, less handsome men, as they subconsciously believe that there's less chance of losing them to a career or other women. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that this is complete bollocks. Trust me - I'm a perennial under-achiever and I'm no oil painting. Oh yes, I'm also a man. A still single man, at an age when my mother would have hoped that I'd been divorced at least twice. I'm not quite sure which women were consulted in this study (or, indeed, if any women were consulted - its authors were probably merely moderately successful, only averagely handsome, male researchers who have never actually met a woman, let alone spoken to one), but I've found the reality of the situation quite different.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a misogynist - I love women. I find their company infinitely preferable to that of other men (most of the time). However, the fact is that they tend to see me - a man who apparently fits the profile identified by this research as their ideal mate - as a best friend, or surrogate older brother. Which is fine. Most of the time. It can get very frustrating when said woman fits my profile of ideal mate, though. When it comes to closer relationships, I inevitably find myself edged out by either unfeasibly handsome, successful but smooth types, or fuck ugly, brainless, sport-loving thugs. Which, I suppose, shows that the research might be half-right, as the second type of guy could be described as less successful and not good looking. Not, of course, that I'm letting this situation drive me to despair. Although I did find myself sneaking a look at the Guardian's personal ads the other day. However, the thought of meeting other desperate Guardian readers was enough to remind me of the advantages of being single...


Friday, April 06, 2007

Sin and the Single Atheist

Maybe it is because it is Easter that I seem to be running (or planning) so many religious-themed stories at the moment. Not only has the Pope been Pleasured in recent weeks, but Satan has been battled in the gay bars of Brighton by the God-fearing 'Bishop', John Salford. The next story I'm working on (once I've got this issue's editorial out of the way), is a sort of a C of E companion piece to the holy masturbation story. Tentatively entitled Heaven in a Crack Pipe, it chronicles the Anglican church's latest attempts to present a contemporary image. It's been a while since I mounted such a concerted assault on organised religion - it used to be a regular feature of The Sleaze. For quite a while I thought I'd run out of angles, but clearly, resting the subject has allowed my imagination to recharge its batteries! Indeed, I have yet another God botherer-themed story planned for later in this issue (Evils of Religion).

Having mentioned Easter, I suppose that it is fair to ask what it means to a non-believer like me (apart from a couple of bank holidays)? Well, like Christmas, we heathens have the get-out that it isn't really a Christian festival, it is yet another pagan festival (this time of re-birth and fertility) co-opted by the Holy Joes. Consequently, I feel free to reinterpret it myself, in purely secular terms. For me, this time of year is all about metaphorical re-birth, when we cast off all the ills and frustrations of the preceding twelve months, try to forgive the sins committed against us, and move on. Just as importantly, it's a time to come to terms with the mistakes you've commited yourself. Something I learned a long time ago is that many of the things we perceive as being 'sins' committed against ourselves are, in reality, often of our own making. Accepting at least partial responsibility for the misfortunes which befall us is a very cathartic experience. There's no better time of year to do this than now! And there endeth the sermon! Bloody hell! If only I wasn't an atheist, I'd have made one hell of a vicar!

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bigots Kan't Spell

It's a fact I've noticed over the years. Just go onto any right wing extremist message board and you'll see what I mean, (and if you have the misfortune to be on the receiving end of any hate mail from said bigots, you'll see it even more clearly). Perhaps all those years of pent up hate actually damages those parts of the brain which deal with spelling and grammar. Or maybe they're just plain stupid. Let's face it, you have to be a moron to subscribe to the kind of bile they peddle. Anyway, as an example of their inability to write intelligible English, I present the following quote from a red neck group:


Apart from the atrocious spelling, note the fact that it is all in block capitals. Presumably this is to get over the fact that bigots also SHOUT all of the time, just to make sure their message gets over properly.

Interestingly, this particular post was a comment on one of my stories - Santa's White Supremacist Christmas to be precise. Which brings us to another issue - whether these arse heads actually grasp that such items are meant to be satirical. I have a nasty suspicion that they don't, and think that I'm also some kind of bigot. Now, I know that, on reading the story, it might seem obvious to rational beings like ourselves that the bigots are the target of the humour, but in their own warped minds, I fear that they read the story as somehow endorsing their views. I've had similar interest in from the bigots in other stories I've written which touch on the subject of race. As I say, it is all rather worrying, and makes me very wary of handling race issues in future.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sex Bomb - The Untold Story

Here's something I unearthed from my archives. This is the original opening of the story that eventually became Sex Bomb. In the event, the concept of the story changed sufficiently during the writing process that I came up with a whole new opening. However, I'm always loathe to leave anything unused, so I present it here:

“I couldn’t believe my luck, it was the first time a woman had ever offered to perform oral sex on me without asking for payment up front,” explains thirty-six year old Lewisham IT worker Maurice Wickler as he describes his first night with his new Russian mail order bride. However, his pleasure was quickly to turn to terror. “As she progressed with the act, I started to feel this pain in my scrotum - I looked down to see my testicles inflating to the size of tennis balls! At first I thought that maybe it was a normal part of the experience, after all, I have heard it called a ‘blow job’!” Wickler became increasingly alarmed as his testes continued to balloon. “I tried to force her head back, away from my genitals,” he claims. “But it was no good - she had a grip like iron!” Finally, the inevitable happened, and Wickler’s testicles exploded messily across his duvet. As he writhed in agony, screaming for help, his Russian bride fled into the South London night.

Scotland Yard detectives hunting the woman - known as Katya - are warning that she could represent the vanguard of a major new terror threat. “We believe that there could be hundreds, possibly thousands, of these girls ready to infiltrate the UK from the former Soviet Union in the guise of mail order brides,” opines Detective Chief Inspector Ron Grommet of the Anti-Terrorist Branch. “We believe these girls are the products of a KGB training programme from the Cold War, designed to produce a phalanx of deadly assassins who could seduce their way into the beds of top Western officials. We believe that, strapped for cash, they could now be sub-contracting their services to Al-Qaieda!” Grommet emphasises that ‘Katya’ - currently suspected to be posing as prostitute in London’s West End - should be considered highly dangerous. “Under no circumstances should the public’s members approach her,” he says. “They should be particularly suspicious of any offers of cheap oral sex, and immediately report them to the nearest police officer, who will, of course, take the matter in hand.”

Wickler believes he may have been targeted due to the sensitive nature of his job. “I input lots of confidential data for an employment agency. They probably believed that if they took me out they could paralyse offices all over South London by cutting off the flow of essential temps,” he told us from his hospital bed. “When I picked her from that on-line catalogue, I never suspected that there was anything amiss! Of course, I selected ‘Katya’ for her intellect, although I was a bit surprised that a nuclear physicist would pose topless and want to come and live in a council flat in Lewisham!” Doctors, who were unable to save Wickler’s testicles, are now pinning their hopes on a transplant. “Unfortunately, we don’t get many bollock donors,” says a hospital spokesperson. “The only other alternative is plastic prosthetics - cosmetically, his scrotum will look normal, but he’ll never be able to ejaculate again!”

If anyone has any good ideas as to how to flesh this out into a complete story which is sufficiently different from Sex Bomb so as to allow publication in The Sleaze, let me know!

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

When Eight Bell Ends Toll

I've always thought that would make a great title for a porn movie. I was reminded of it the other day when setting the video to record When Eight Bells Toll off of More 4. God alone knows what the plot would be - something about ship loads of Dutch pornography bound for sex-starved 1970s Britain being hijacked, perhaps? Some hugely endowed freelance investigator could be dispatched by Dutch porn barons to find out what's going on - a mission which undoubtedly requires him to bonk a multitude of mightily bosomed women in highly unlikely situations. Obviously, it all turns out to be a plot by Scotland Yard's 'Dirty Squad' in collusion with the Treasury to drive up the price of porn by restricting its availability, before flooding the market with inferior, over-priced homegrown product. Not only would this boost domestic porn production, but the demand generated by the previous lack of product would ensure huge revenues for the Treasury from the newly introduced Porn Tax. As I've said before, this stuff just writes itself...

Whilst checking my videotapes to find a blank one to record When Eight Bells Toll on, I rediscovered a recording of Lifeforce. Now, there's a film that everyone should see. Nude space vampires attack Britain, No, really, that's the plot. Personally, I never tire of watching it. It really is just a big budget B-movie, with a cast of distinguished thesps all at sea amongst excellent special effects and production values, but an execrable script. At one point the British Prime Minister greets the news that the Home Secretary has been killied by vampires by mumbling, "Yes, that's rather unfortunate". Amongst other delights, Mathilda May - usually seen in European art house movies - performs her entire role in the nude, Steve Railsback kisses Patrick Stewart on the lips and Peter Firth keeps sweeping into rooms barking: "I'm Captain Kane, SAS!" Great stuff! Lifeforce just goes to show that professional film makers with a big budget can make just as bad a film as amateurs like Ed Wood. Indeed, at least the likes of Wood have an excuse foe their films being so bad - lack of talent, money and resources. There really is no excuse for the likes of Lifeforce. Having said that, I'm bloody glad they did make it!

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Monday, April 02, 2007

More Musings on Morons

It is all so bloody depressing. Last year I was blithely announcing the 'Year of the Idiot' over at The Sleaze. Now that year seems set to drag into decades. There really does seem to be no end to the growth of idiocy. The latest manifestation is linked to Iran's continued detention of several British sailors who allegedly strayed into Iranian territorial waters. The news programmes and papers are now full of vox pop interviews with people denouncing the British government for not doing enough to get the released. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard some moron on the street or another demanding that we threaten Iran with military action or send the SAS in. Are you all fucking stupid? Aren't you the same wankers who are forever denouncing the government for the war in Iraq? And now you want them to start another one with Iran? Of course a lot of these interviewees are in military towns, so, if not in the services themselves, they're probably related to someone who is - in which case i should expect such cretinous comments. Let's face it, if they had any brains they wouldn't be mindless tattooed thugs for hire (or related to said thugs), would they? I just want to scream at them: listen fuckwits, you aren't paid to think, you're clearly too stupid, that's why you're cannon fodder, paid to do as you are told!

It's the same with all this clamour for Steve McClaren, the England football manger, to resign. (OK, I know that's quite a leap, from Iran detaining British sailors to football, but bear with me). Aren't all those so-called fans who are shouting abuse at him the self same ones who, after Ericsson's contract expired, were insisting that the next 'Engurland' manager should be 'Engurlesh'? So what are you complaining about, dick heads? You got what you wanted! Yet more evidence of idiocy's insidious spread. Actually, this sort of narrow-minded nationalism is yet another manifestation of modern cretinism. This new 'patriotism' you see everywhere seems mainly to be expounded by block headed morons who are too ignorant of the country they profess to love's own history and culture that they probably couldn't name any famous Briton who lived before 1950, tell you the causes of World War Two and would probably be surprised to hear that our 'Engurlesh' monarch is German. They're 'opinions', if you can call them that, are 'informed' and fuelled by the ignorance and bigotry of the likes of The Sun and the Daily Mail, with their dangerous simplification of political issues and stereotyping of anything which doesn't conform to their knee-jerk reactionary perspective as being 'un-British'.

The bottom line of all this is that I'm sick and tired of hearing these morons' monotonous voices and having their ill-informed bigotry shoved in my face. Fuck off the lot of you and take your obnoxious 'opinions' with you!

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Chocolate Jesus

You just can't make it up, can you? It's stories like this one - a New York gallery removes a nude study of Jesus, sculpted from chocolate, from an exhibition after protests from Catholics - which remind me just how difficult it is to keep coming up with new ideas for The Sleaze. I wouldn't mind, but this chocolate Jesus story wasn't even and April Fool's Day story! Nevertheless, despite competition from the real world, I somehow have managed to keep coming up with stories - for seven years, in fact. Indeed readers, today is the seventh anniversary of The Sleaze first appearing on the web, after a previous incarnation as a very low circulation (approximately ten at its height) print publication.

To celebrate this event, the official (I don't know why I say that, it isn't as if anyone else is going to put out an unofficial story) seventh anniversary story is now up: The Devil Comes Out. I've brought back an old favourite for this story - it features the further adventures of Britain's self-styled top vampire hunter 'Bishop' John Salford. Incredibly, the Bishop last appeared nearly three years ago, in Die, Lady Di (although there was an oblique reference to him in Queer in the Head?). In his latest set of self-delusional escapades, Salford has shifted his attention from the undead to Satanists. I think it compares well to previous anniversary stories such as last year's Great British Thrashing, or Deviants Are Forever from the year before, or even Christ Almighty from 2004. It has been suggested to me that 'Bishop' John Salford is clearly based on a certain real-life person who is very prominent in the world of British occultism. Obviously, this can't be true, as I refuse to believe that anyone so bizarre could possibly exist...