Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

So here we are, in the dying hours of 2007. It's that time when our thoughts turn to New Year Resolutions, our annual attempt to deceive ourselves into believing that we can actually change our lives. In reality, of course, after only a token attempt at sticking to our resolutions, we find some excuse to abandon them and return to our old routines. The truth is that we like those old routines, they work for us and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Consequently, I tend to try and avoid making resolutions at this time of year. However, for the purposes of this post I'm prepared to float a few ideas which might just improve my life in the coming year - if I were to resolve to act upon them. Not that they actually constitute resolutions, as such, you understand. Anyway, getting to the point, the most significant thing I could do next year would be to completely give up on love and romance. Now, this isn't the curmudgeonly whingeings of someone rejected in love. I'm quite serious. I have a bad habit of putting myself through hell pursuing hopeless relationships with members of the opposite sex who barely register my romantic interest in them on their emotional radar. If could just give up on any possibility of romance, then I'd be a lot happier, and would be able to devote all the energy I waste on unrequited love to more constructive activities.

Following on from that idea, I should also try to be happy with my lot. I seem to spend a lot of time thinking that I'm somehow not living my life the right way, that I'm missing something. It's a malady a lot of people seem to suffer from - the belief that everyone else is having a better time than them. The truth, of course, is that they aren't. We're all in the same boat, sailing on the same sea of mediocrity. I really should also have more confidence in my own abilities. No matter how many degrees and letters after my name I have, I still have this nagging feeling that it's all a mistake and that I'm going to get found out. Again, I'm sure a lot of other people suffer from the same delusion. What else should I do? Be less cynical? Learn to like Russell Brand, perhaps? As it seems inevitable that he'll be all over the papers and TV again next year, my life would be a lot easier if I didn't fly into an apoplectic rage every time I see him. Of course, there are also things I'd like to see other people do which would improve my life. Less reality TV, for instance. And fewer of those bloody 'talent' contests which produce boring middle of the road ballad singers. Less opinion, more news in the media. Not that any of that will happen, any more than I'll sort my own life out. Like I said before, the status quo, for all its faults, is comfortable and familiar. Changing would risk entering a scary and unfamiliar new world, full of disturbing new challenges and situations. Screw that! I prefer the insecurities I know! Happy New Year!

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Friday, December 28, 2007

More End of Year Ramblings

I can barely summon the energy to post in these dead days of December, let alone think of anything to write. A large part of the country seems to have ground to a halt. Certainly, nobody seems to be in their offices, as the stats for The Sleaze confirm. During normal UK working hours traffic is dead, usually bored office workers are providing me with a steady stream of visits. Interestingly, traffic from the US seems unaffected. Get back to work you idle Brit bastards! Mind you, I can't talk, I'm off work until next Thursday. In my defence, unlike most of my compatriots, I haven't been obeying the command of the Great God Mammon to go and shop. Instead, I've been laid up shaking off a mild cold and a shoulder injury - every year I look forward to enjoying a Christmas without illness, it's never happened yet. However, when I did finally join the consumer maelstrom today, I found that there wasn't actually anything in the shops. I'm not talking about shopping in the sales, here. I'm talking about trying to do some ordinary everyday grocery shopping. Attempting to get a loaf of bread turned into a major quest. Shelves don't seem to have been replenished since before the Christmas break. Obviously all the delivery drivers and depot staff are off at the sales...

Speaking personally, I've never got the hang of sales. I really can't be arsed with engaging in bare knuckle contests with other shoppers for half price shoes and the like. Let's face it, if they're selling it cheap, it means they haven't sold any during the year at full price, probably because the product is shit. Not only did I have to brave hordes of certifiably insane shoppers today, but I also had to endure driving wind and rain as I struggled my way home. Jesus, what a shitty day! My desultory attempts to rework The Sleaze's page templates haven't amounted to much yet. Attempting to come up with new code which still looks like The Sleaze, whilst also being suitable for embedding php tags in, is slow work. Indeed, the whole idea of converting the site from static HTML to a dynamic script is so daunting that I'm beginning to have serious doubts about it. I just don't have the time, let alone the inclination. Maybe I'll feel differently in the New Year. Right now, I feel about as exhausted and played out as the year itself.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fag End of Another Year

So, here we are at the fag end of another year. It's that period when we all rake through the ashes of the months gone by, looking for some evidence that we've achieved something, that we've somehow moved our lives along. That's not to say that theses dying days of December can't still spring surprises, throwing up major news stories when we least expect them and are least prepared for them. A few years ago it was the tsunami, this year there's the shocking assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan. However, regardless of the import of such events, they ultimately cannot shake us from our introspection. I'm afraid that I'm not immune to the urge to look back over the last twelve months and beat myself up for having achieved fuck all during them.

Having said that, a lot has happened this year. I spent the first half of it juggling my regular day job with a new teaching placement as I put in the ninety or so hours I needed to complete my teaching qualification. I then spent another couple of months putting together the course work that had to accompany the teaching practice. All of this was punctuated by the various outbreaks of ill health I've chronicled elsewhere on this blog. Finally, by September I was a qualified teacher. That's right folks, I'm Doc Sleaze PGCE these days. Not that I'm actually teaching yet. I'm still doing my lousy day job to pay the bills while I try to find teaching work. Maybe that's why I initially felt that I hadn't achieved much this year - my actual everyday life has remained pretty much the same. I think that's part of the problem - we tend to measure 'progress' in terms of our personal circumstances. Just because I haven't got married/divorced/fallen in love, etc, doesn't mean that I haven't done something . OK, so I haven't done anything as tangible as having a novel published, getting a top ten hit or starring in a film. But getting that PGCE was still quite an achievement.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Another Christmas Eve at The Sleaze

Christmas Eve and still no offers of panto - hang on, I did that line last year, didn't I? (And to be honest, I stole it from Spike Milligan circa 1958 anyway). So, what's new this year? Not a lot, really. I'm enjoying my usual decoration-free Christmas. This year my campaign to get people to stop sending me cards - the message finally seems to have got through: I'm not going to send you one back. Also as usual, I intend spending Christmas Day at home, on my own. I hasten to add that this is through choice. I grew tired of family Christmases and their arguments many years ago. As I don't have children of my own, I really don't see the point of making a fuss over Christmas. I also don't see the point in subjecting myself to someone else's notion of a Merry Christmas, or in trying to observe the meaningless rituals of the past. Neither of these have ever brought me much joy. Some acquaintances seem to think my celebration of the season rather bleak. It's anything but - I really enjoy the opportunity to have some time to myself and do exactly what I want to do. As I've tried to explain to people, I really wouldn't care if I didn't receive any presents (let's face it, we all give each other tat, anyway).

Mind you worse than giving nothing, in my opinion, is 'giving' those bloody charity 'gifts'. You know the sort of thing I mean - where you give a goat or something to an African village on behalf of someone else. What the fuck kind of present is that? It's the giver who is trying to salve their conscience, not the recipient. Consequently, I consider such 'gifts' incredibly selfish. Look, if you want to make a charitable donation, go ahead and do it on your own account, don't try and pretend its some kind of present to someone else. Equally unwelcome are those 'practical' gifts, like socks, composting bins and garden forks. Where's the seasonal 'magic' in that, eh? For God's sake, Christmas isn't about being practical. It's about debauchery, over-indulgence and frivolity. Mind you, I've had some difficulty getting into the spirit this year. It's felt less like Christmas than usual this December. Everything seems a bit muted (except those bloody external Christmas lights people put up, unfortunately). However, this afternoon as I walked home in the fading light, the church bells started ringing and the lights of Christmas trees could be glimpsed through people's windows. Suddenly I felt more festive. So much so that I sat down and watched a badly colourised version of Scrooge with Alistair Sim. Mind you, my festive mood was quickly dispelled, as I found my planned trip to the pub to see in Christmas is under jeopardy due to people dropping out or having second thoughts. Bastards!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Twelve Lays of Christmas

Following on from my earlier thoughts about updating the traditional Christmas ghost story, it occurred to me that we don't have Christmas-themed versions of other genres. Why not have a traditional Christmas porno film, I asked myself. Not surprisingly (for regular readers, at least), my thoughts have wandered in this direction in the past. Indeed, I've often thought that it should be possible to build a traditional British sex comedy around a popular Christmas song, like 'Twelve Days of Christmas'. The conceit of Santa enjoying a different erotic experience for each of the twelve days would provide an ideal structure, the only problem would be in translating the lyrics into sexually explicit terms. Obviously, the 'Partridge in a Pear Tree' could involve shagging some fat bird in a tree. She could hang upside from the lower branches and give Santa a blow job, for instance. Now, the 'Two Turtle Doves' are bit more beguiling - perhaps they could be euphemism for breasts - so on the second day he gets given a tit wank by a girl with a huge pair of knockers. Of course, if the lyrics of the original song are to be followed, he'd have to give the bird in the tree one again, as well.

What of the other gifts described in the lyrics? Well, the french hens could be exotic Parisian prostitutes sent for a three-in-a-bed romp, the four calling birds could be a variation on this theme, a quartet of call girls who perform some full on hot lesbo action. Lest it all get a bit repetitive, the five gold rings could be a reference to handcuffs and a bondage session. Six geese a-laying? Six birds who take it up the arse? Now, seven swans a-swimming, that's a bit more problematic. Maybe a gang-bang in a swimming pool. Eight maids a-milking - eight girls wank him off or he gets to 'milk' the breasts of eight girls. The nine ladies dancing would undoubtedly be a bunch of those highly flexible and skinny ballet dancers come round to do all sorts of amazing sexual contortions with their bodies. Now, ten lords a-leaping suggests some kind of gay angle - who knows, maybe Santa swings both ways? Eleven pipers piping? Clearly oral sex - ten horny girls take it in turn to 'blow his pipe'. Finally, twelve drummers drumming is a reference to spanking - Santa gets to warm the lovely behinds of twelve comely lasses.

As I noted earlier, if the sentiments of the song are followed, then each new erotic encounter would have to be followed by a repetition of all the previous ones. Consequently, at the end of his twelve days, Santa would be completely exhausted, and would need the rest of the new year to summon up the energy he needed for next Christmas. All-in-all, a suitably festive sex romp observing the conventions of British erotic cinema, I think you'll agree. It could be a winner, repeated on TV year after year. Indeed, more adventurous fans wouldn't be content just to watch it every year, they'd undoubtedly want to try and emulate Santa's exploits, thereby generating festive revenue for Britain's prostitutes. Another winner, I think!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Blair Converts to Socialism

It has been announced that former Prime Minister Tony Blair has converted to Socialism. According to a statement released by his private office, the conversion took place late last night at the house of former Labour minister Tony Benn. During the ceremony Mr Blair renounced the market as a mechanism for the fair distribution of services and admitted that the invisible hand of the afore mentioned market was nothing but a superstitious fallacy. "Like God, the invisible hand is something we like to believe in as children - imagining that it is out there gives us a sense of security," said Mr Blair in the statement. "But I have come to see that it is entirely illusory, that the only true protection we have from rapacious capitalism is state intervention to ensure a fair redistribution of wealth." It is believed that the ex-PM had been receiving instruction in Socialism from several leading left-wingers - including George Galloway and John McConnell - in the months leading up to his conversion.

"We're delighted that someone as notable as Tony Blair has converted to our cause." said Tony Benn, echoing the sentiments of many other leading figures on the left. "We have no doubt that it will lend new gravitas and credibility to our campaign for social justice and equality of opportunity." However, others have questioned Mr Blair's conversion and its timing. "Bloody pity the bastard didn't embrace the cause when he was Labour Prime Minister," snarled Dennis Skinner. "One of the central planks of Socialism is equality of access to public services - yet during his time in Number Ten he consistently dismantled the Health Service and education, introduced means-tested benefits and failed to re-nationalise vital industries like the railways. I don't see how any of that is compatible with a commitment to Socialism." For his part, Mr Blair claims that it was Britain's unique political culture which prevented him from openly discussing his political beliefs whilst Prime Minister. "Anywhere else in Europe you can come out and say that you are a Socialist with pride - it's considered quite respectable," he claims. "But in Britain, if you say things like 'I believe in the redistribution of wealth through a graduated tax system', people think you're a nutter!"

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Calm Down, It's Only a Religious Festival... exactly what I wanted to shout at people today. I had the misfortune to get caught up in the madness which seems to grip people on the last working day before Christmas. Whilst I was still trying to work, it seemed that the rest of the population had finished at midday and were now clogging any road that looked like it might lead to a shopping centre or supermarket. Finding myself gridlocked, Micheal Winner's wise words came to me. However, instead of imploring my fellow citizens to "calm down", I instead satisfied myself with shouting "wanker", "arsehole" and "What the fuck's wrong with you, do you want a man with a red flag walking in front of you?" as I tried to make my way through traffic. Of course, by the time I did finish work and tried to do some shopping myself, I found that the supermarket shelves had been stripped bare, as if by locusts.

But just why do people go mad like this? It's the same every year - the country suddenly finds itself in the grip of a shopping frenzy. Reason flies out of the window as motorists battle for parking spaces and pensioners fight to the death over the last farmhouse loaf in Tesco. For God's sake, most of the shops will be open until at least five o'clock on Christmas Eve, and most of them will be open again on Boxing Day! I wouldn't mind, but this madness also extends to non-shopping activities. Just try going out to the pub for a pint at this time of year - you can't get near the bar for drunks who don't ever go out for a drink at any other time of year. They seem determined to pack their entire annual alcohol consumption into one evening. Then puke it up again five minutes after leaving the pub. That's the trouble. Everybody gets so uptight about Christmas they end up not enjoying it, despite all their frenzied preparations. So, just calm down everyone!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

More Supernatural Shenanigans for Christmas

Some more thoughts on updating those Christmas ghost stories. Having watched a double bill of M R James adaptations on BBC4 last night, it occurs to me that The Treasure of Abbot Thomas would be ideally suited for a Twenty First Century spin. The treasure itself, instead of being base metals transmuted into gold by alchemy, could be a stash of incredible Medieval porn, jerked off over by the titular Abbot, in an attempt to transform the images into flesh and blood women through alchemy. As such women wouldn't be real, sex with them wouldn't be a sin. The strange slimy guardian the Abbot leaves to protect his treasure could turn out to be composed of his ejaculated jism, animated into menacing life by occult means and spraying itself into the faces of those seeking the Abbot's secrets. A salutary lesson in the perils of masturbation.

The other adaptation on view the other night was Whistle and I'll Come to You. Now, I feel this one translates into modern terms quite easily. The spirit summoned up by playing the mysterious whistle found in the graveyard could turn out to be the shade of some Victorian rent boy, who steals under the Professor's bedclothes and gives him a blow on his 'whistle'. The story could then become an analogy for the protagonist's attempts to come to terms with his own repressed homosexuality. See, these things just write themselves! The more I think about, the more I'm inclined to say "Screw writing a Christmas ghost story for The Sleaze next year", and instead try to pitch these ideas to the BBC as a TV series. Contemporary ghost stories - very BBC3!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Christmas Ghost Story?

I was sitting up late last night, watching the repeat on BBC4 of the 1971 adaptation of M R James' Stalls of Barchester, when it occurred to me that perhaps I should be doing that - coming up with a Christmas ghost story. It could be a new tradition for The Sleaze, just like it was for the BBC back in the 1970s. Of course, I'd have to reinterpret those old M R James stories for our modern, sleazy, age. Take the afore-mentioned Stalls of Barchester, for instance. Nowadays it would probably concern the spectre of some defrocked Catholic priest returning to molest young choir boys. "I felt the hem of my cassock lifted and a chill wind crept between my buttocks. I leapt up from my seat as I felt the ghostly, yet strangely firm, presence of a male member forcing its way up my jacksie..." No doubt some scholar would discover (from an internet search, rather than by consulting some musty old documents found locked in a trunk), that the priest had committed suicide rather than face the shame when his stash of kiddie porn was found stashed under the font. Having committed a mortal sin, he was condemned to haunt the stalls of Barchester Cathedral for all eternity, invisibly fondling small boys' bottoms and balls.

Some of the same author's other stories could be similarly updated. In The View From the Hill, for example, the middle class archaeologist protagonist could, instead of seeing an Abbey where there should be ruins when he looks through the mysterious binoculars, see a fabulous leisure centre. However, when he reaches the spot where he thinks it is, he finds himself confronted by a terrible inner-city slum, populated by prostitutes, pimps and violent thugs. Inevitably, he is mugged by these terrible working class scumbags and left for dead. Number 13, in which a spectral hotel room keeps manifesting itself by night and claiming victims from amongst the establishment's guests, could easily be given a spin in which it is a phantom S&M dungeon which keeps appearing and drawing victims in to be chained up and whipped to their dooms. The hero could no doubt have his sleep disturbed the rattlings of ghostly nipple chains as the demonic dominatrices secure their 'clients'. Ghastly wailings and mumblings could haunt the hotel's corridors as the leather bound and gagged unfortunates are carried off to the bowels of hell. You know, if I wasn't already part way through writing The Sleaze's second (and last) Christmas story for this year, I'd have a crack at a ghost story for Christmas. Maybe next year...

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Seasonal Charity

How I love local TV news. It brings you all the best stories, especially this time of year. Take tonight - a magnificent tale of a man who has been forced to tone down his external Christmas lights by his local council. Tired of congestion on his street due to sightseers turning up to gawp at the lights, the council obtained a court order limiting him to only four inflatables, no music and no roof-mounted lights. Of course, the whole story was given a 'Bah, humbug' angle, with the council cast as kill joys. Just to emphasise how villainous they were, the story made great play of the fact that this bloke used to collect for charity when people turned up to see his lights, collecting £55,000 in three years. Apparently the council won't even let him do that any more. Bastards!

Now, apart from the fact that anyone who blights residential areas with these appalling displays of Christmas lights is, in my opinion, a nuisance neighbour and should be prosecuted, its the way that the fact he collected for charity (although which charity was never specified) was used as some kind of defence which amused me. These days the refrain 'it's for charity' is used as the standard defence for all manner of atrocities ranging from novelty records to Comic Relief. Presumably, if you were to systematically bum rape a pack of cub scouts, it would be OK just so long as you said you were doing it for charity. "Honestly, your Honour, I was being sponsored by some geezers in my local peadophile support group - for every inch of penetration I achieved, Children in Need got a quid" would constitute a legitimate defence guaranteed to get your case dismissed. Indeed, I'd love to see Terry Wogan accepting the cheque live on TV for that particular charity stunt. If only Gary Glitter had thought to get sponsorship from some his music biz chums, like former Radio One DJ Chris Denning, perhaps...


Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Art of Self Deception

The appointment of Fabio Capello as England football manager drew the usual chorus of laments from various footballing quarters to the effect that the job should have gone to an Englishman. "It's like having an Italian come and take your job," Reading's Steve Coppell reportedly claimed. Well, Steve, it wasn't actually your job he got, was it? You were never a contender and, with Reading sliding down the table, the call isn't likely to come any time soon. Meanwhile Paul Ince of MK Dons was voicing the opinion that it was completely unnecessary to appoint a foreigner as there were plenty of English coaches who could do the job. Like who, Paul? Sam Allardyce? Give me a break! Alan Curbishley, specialist in mid-table mediocrity? I don't think so. The truth is, all these laments are nothing more than self-deception, something we're very good at in the UK. The fact is that we had to appoint an Italian as England head coach because there aren't any English coaches up to the job. The man he's replacing, Steve McClaren proved that. The only possible exception was 'Arry Redknapp, but he was out of the running as soon as he had his collar felt by the Old Bill.

But we just don't seem to care about little things like facts in this country. Fuelled by the bombastic claims of the tabloid press, we still imagine that we're a footballing superpower. Even worse, we seem to think that we're still some kind of political and military power in the real world. Such delusions are the only explanation for the preposterous parades now being staged for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the degree to which we fetishize the military, making them out to be virtuous warriors for truth who can do no wrong. What utter bollocks. We're not a world power, at best we're a supporting player in someone else's politically motivated conflicts. Just accept it. We're crap. It's all part of the 'Unbearable Crapness of Being'. But should we be surprised by this national self deception? After all, we do it all the time on a micro level, deceiving ourselves into being thinner than we really are, more interesting than we actually are and more attractive to women than is the case. Perhaps if we could all accept our own personal crapness, we could start to shake off this national self deception.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Whole Lotta Lies

Web traffic often comes from the least expected quarter, an event in the real world apparently unconnected with your site will suddenly start turning up an old story in searches. The catalyst this week has been the Led Zeppelin reunion, which has resulted in the story Rock Babylon receiving a lot of hits. Apparently if you search for 'Led Zeppelin groupie' it comes up. Whilst obviously happy that the story has been given a new lease of life, I'm slightly disappointed that it hasn't resulted in any TV researchers looking to dish the dirt on Led Zep getting in touch. As I've undoubtedly mentioned before, I once had a researcher contact me about this story, wanting to arrange an interview with the protagonist of the story, retired groupie Suzy Jamette. Now, bearing in mind that the story involves an octopus trained by Led Zeppelin to simultaneously wank off both them and all four members of Queen, I'd have thought that it was pretty obvious that it wasn't true. Except if you are a TV researcher. Still, it's like E F Watley of the inestimable Watley Review pointed out to me, researchers are those people lacking the talent to be proper journalists, whilst lacking the looks to appear in front of the cameras.

Anyway, I apprised the researcher in question of the fact that Miss Jamette was an entirely fictional character, adding that I still had the phone number of that octopus somewhere if she was interested. I never heard from her again. Indeed, I haven't had any e-mails from researchers for a long time. On the one hand I'm quite relieved, as they're a pain to deal with, but on the other hand I sort of miss getting them. I'd like to think that they've stopped due to a rise in the standard of researchers employed by TV stations. However, I doubt it. I'd also like to believe that most TV production companies' research departments have finally flagged The Sleaze up as a satire, rather than a factual, publication. Again, the fact that I used to get multiple requests from different researchers at the same company, even after I had already told one of their colleagues to piss off, suggests that they are simply not that well organised. To be honest, I've been half expecting the recent story School for Swearing to set off a new wave of requests from researchers. It's precisely the type of story - suggesting some kind of low-level celebrity scandal - that attracts them. You never know, it might yet happen. We shall see.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How Green Was My Christmas Tree?

It's never enough, is it? No matter what you do, no matter how many concessions you make, it's never enough for the bloody middle class environmentalists. Taker bio-fuel, for instance - a renewable fuel source which pollutes less, great, eh? Got to earn you brownie points for using it in your care, surely? Apparently not. You see, if we all switched to bio-fuel, then vast tracts of agricultural land would go over to producing it, rather than feeding people. Very bad, according to the environmentalists. Forget about making your car greener - just stop using it altogether, they say. There really is no pleasing them, is there? They steadfastly refuse to allow you to win a single round. Nothing you do, it turns out, really helps the environment. Not even something as simple as using an artificial Christmas tree rather than cutting down real ones. Apparently, whilst it isn't OK to deforest the Amazon basin, it is OK to cut down tens of thousands of fir trees in the UK every year, just so that someone can decorate their living room for a couple of weeks. You see, that artificial tree you thought was so green, well it's imported from somewhere like China, and its production and transport to the UK creates all sorts of pollution. Not only that, but when you eventually dispose of it (after twenty generations of fir tree have been slaughtered), it isn't biodegradable. You environmentally irresponsible bastard!

You see, what these middle class environmentalists actually want isn't to save the planet, so much as return us to a non-industrial society. In truth, they want to retreat to some rural idyll where us working class types know our place. We give up our consumer goods, our cars, the lot, and tug our forelocks at those nice middle class people as they speed past us in their (very expensive) electric cars. That's the rub, environmentally friendly consumer goods will be so expensive that only the well-off will be able to afford them. OK, I exaggerate. However, the fact remains that they do want us to make fundamental changes to our lifestyles which are simply impractical for the less well-off. The middle class environmentalists might well be able to work from home and install energy-saving devices in their houses, but the working classes frequently have no choice but to travel to work. Poor and expensive public transport means they have no choice but to drive their own cars. Low wages mean they have no choice but to keep their older, less economic cars on the road rather than buying nice new energy efficient ones. It's the same throughout their lives: they can't afford to replace all their old polluting fridges and washing machines with new energy efficient ones.

The fact is that what we need to achieve the aim of an environmentally friendlier population is a fundamental redistribution of wealth - and the middle class environmentalists aren't going to back that: it sounds dangerously like socialism! I'm afraid that, as it stands, this middle class environmentalism is nothing more than the old class war waged under different colours. Some final thoughts: those bicycles you greenies so like to pedal - you do realise that they're mostly produced by low paid labour in polluting factories in places like India and China? Oh, and the environmental costs of transporting them here is far greater than the costs of bringing those artificial Christmas trees you so hate here once a year. In fact, the trees get pretty much free passage - the bikes and energy efficient fridges, washing machines, freezers and the like pay the costs. And why not be honest about why you hate those artificial trees so much - they're nasty and vulgar and mainly bought by poor people who can't afford real Christmas trees. Not surprisingly, the real trees tend to be the preserve of the middle classes.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Back From the Undead...

The Daily Excess has found itself censured by the Press Council after running a story claiming that John Darwin, who recently turned himself into police after being missing, presumed dead, for five years following a canoeing accident, had returned from the dead as a flesh-eating zombie. The newspaper has strongly defended the story, which claimed that Mr Darwin's wife, distraught by his loss at sea, turned to voodoo to raise him from his watery grave. "We have a reliable eyewitness who saw Darwin's seaweed-festooned decomposing corpse shamble its way out of the surf and stumble up the beach at Hartlepool," says Deputy Editor Ron Noober, who is adamant that the 'witness' - a Peter Yelch of no fixed abode - was not paid by the paper, although it did present him with two gallons of methylated spirits 'for his troubles'. "Obviously, Mrs Darwin was disgusted by her husband's disgusting appearance, so she kept him hidden in the attic of her house for several years." The article also claimed that in order to restore her husband's appearance, Mrs Darwin proceeded to feed him the flesh of tramps and down and outs she lured to the house, before murdering and cooking them.

"She had to keep feeding him human flesh to stop him from decomposing - it took five years to get him looking presentable again," says Noober. "By then, the police were beginning to get suspicious of the number of disappearances in the area - that's why they decided to flee to Panama, where life is cheap and nobody notices the odd homeless person getting eaten!" Unfortunately, Darwin's brain had regenerated enough for him to start suffering pangs of conscience, and he confessed his cannibalism to the police, according to the Excess. This is the second time the newspaper has been reprimanded by the Press Council in the last six months. Earlier this year its story that the McCanns were part of a cannibal cult and had murdered and eaten their missing daughter Madelaine. Whilst both stories have been widely condemned for their lack of factual content and the distress they have caused their subjects, the Daily Excess has gained support from at least one other newspaper. "You can't really blame them for trying to enliven what are actually two pretty dull stories," declares Jake Flingle, editor of top-selling tabloid the Daily Tits. "I mean, what's the substance of the Darwin story? Man presumed drowned, turns up alive, arrested for fraud. The McCann story is even worse: child vanishes in Portugal. That's it! Don't people realise how difficult it is to keep stories with so little sensational material on the front pages for months at a time? For God's sake, they were just trying to maintain reader interest! They should be congratulated, not condemned!"

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Have You Ever Noticed... the lights flicker just before Strictly Come Dancing starts every Saturday, as the entire National Grid is harnessed to the task of restarting Bruce Forsythe's heart? Poor old Brucie, he does come in for a lot of stick about his age. Now, I would ordinarily decry this sort of ageism. However, I've been around long enough to remember that people were cracking cruel jokes about Brucie when he was merely middle-aged. The fact is that we simply hate the toupee-wearing, egotistical git. I remember Peter Cook's impression of him, where he encapsulates Forsythe's act as getting "some cunt from the audience and making a fool of them". Mystifyingly, not only has he outlived Cook, but Brucie has also continued to be employed on TV in a series of vehicles in which he humiliates members of the public. Indeed, for me the only saving grace of Strictly Come Dancing is that he doesn't get to humiliate members of the public.

Of course, much of this hatred might stem from jealousy. Obviously, we're envious of his talent and success. More to the point, we're jealous of the fact that such an unbearably bumptious git with an awful hair piece can pull a series of attractive women half his age. Bastard. On the other hand, he does give us all hope that when we reach our twilight years we won't be doddering senile old gits, pissing ourselves and gibbering incoherently. Or at the very least, that we won't be doing it publicly on national television every Saturday. Or even if we do, we'll at least have the compensation of being married to some fit bird. Provided we're millionaires, of course.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bigotry Strikes Again

I find myself forced to write about Morrissey and his views on immigration. Before we start, I feel I should lay my cards on the table - I never could stand Morrissey and the Smiths, with their whingeing dirges, trying desperately to sound as if they were saying something profound. Morrissey's solo career hasn't changed that opinion - it's just highlighted what an egotistical arse full of his own self-importance he is. Getting back to the point, in a recent interview in the New Musical Express, he gives us the benefit of his wit and wisdom on the subject of immigration into the UK, opining that it has destroyed the British 'character' (whatever that might be). He observes that these days you can walk down a street in London and not hear English spoken.

The irony of this is, of course, that Morrissey these days lives in Rome, a city where, no doubt, Italians frequently moan that you can walk through St Peter's Square without hearing Italian being spoken. Indeed, I daresay that Morrissey enthuses about how 'cosmopolitan' Rome is, with its vibrant mix of cultures. In that respect, he's no different to many Brits, who profess to enjoy the 'cosmopolitan' character of many of Europe's great cities. However, they don't seem to like their own Capital to be 'cosmopolitan'. Oh no, rather than being a cultural melting pot, it is overrun with immigrants. Sadly, the UK's attitude toward multi-culturalism is as confused as Morrissey's lyrics.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Fist of Fury

Did you hear about that Old Age Pensioner (OAP) who was recently taken to court for punching an eight year old child in the face at Halloween? Apparently the little bastard had been trick-or-treating, dressed as a skeleton and had ended up knocking on the door of some old boy who'd clearly had enough. Thankfully, he was let off with a warning. Frankly, I think he should have been given a medal. If only a few more people would stand up to these bloody trick-or-treaters and other louts, perhaps we'd see a return to decent values in this country. Of course, the child's mother ranted on about how the pensioner "should be put down - what if he does it again and attacks other children?" He's an OAP you stupid cow, not a rabid dog. Besides, if you want to eliminate the risk of children being attacked by enraged senior citizens, the answer is simple: don't let your little bastards go around knocking on doors at random.

Indeed, let's look at this from another angle: what sort of responsible parent sends an eight year old child out to harass OAPs by knocking on their doors after dark and making unspecified threats against them? Anyone who did that sort of thing isn't fit to have children, if you ask me. Just think of that poor old bloke; there he is minding his own business, dozing in his armchair in front of Emmerdale, when there's an unexpected hammering on his door. Confused and half asleep, he stumbles down his hallway, laboriously unlocks his door to find himself confronted by a grinning skull. What the fuck would you think in his shoes (or carpet slippers, to be precise)? Obviously, you'd assume it was the grim reaper come to claim your soul. Who could blame him for smacking death in the face and attempting to leg it, in a desperate attempt to cling onto a few extra moments of life? The poor old git could have had a coronary as he tried to get away. If anyone should have been given a warning, it was the evil little shit dressed as a skeleton. Who knows how many pensioners he'd caused to pop their clogs before this brave man brought an end to his reign of terror?

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Monday, December 03, 2007

The Cameron Who Never Was

Is David Cameron just a media construct? Does he really exist? Think about it, had you ever actually heard of him, let alone seen him before he stood for the leadership of the Conservative party? Also, try to remember what he looks like when he isn't on TV or in the papers - you can't, can you? He has one of those inoffensive, unmemorable faces onto which people can project their own ideas of what's desirable or handsome, so that when you try to picture his face, you just see some mental construct of what you think an average bloke should look like. What about his family, eh? Aren't they just too good to be true? The disabled child for the sympathy vote, the spouse who is the perfect traditional wife, yet also has that tattoo to suggest she's just a little bit 'radical' and 'rebellious' - establishment and counter-culture in one package. All-in-all, the perfect family for the politician trying to pitch himself as Mr Average caring bloke.

What's becoming increasingly obvious is that 'Cameron' is the creation of Tory focus groups. He's the distillation of all the feedback they've got on what would make the 'ideal' party leader. Once the grandees had decided on this image, they simply hired an actor to play the part, invented a biography and had it strategically planted in official records to make it appear that he had a history and then staged a leadership 'contest' to establish him in the public eye. The wife and kids - actors again. The career in the City, the life in politics as an MP - all an elaborate fiction. Trust me, it's easier than most people realise to create a fake personal history, even for a public figure. If you tell people that someone was an MP enough times, show them a few photos of him shaking hands with local worthies and the like, and they'll believe it. It is especially easy for the Tory party, who have most of the British press in their pockets. Now they've established 'Cameron', they're trying to destabilise the government, first of they undermine trust with those discs which the Revenue allegedly lost, and now they're trying to destroy Brown's credibility with this 'proxy donor' business. If we're not careful, we're going to find ourselves being governed by the 'Leader Who Never Was' - a phantom image being manipulated by the shadowy financiers and corporate interests that lurk behind the Conservative Party.

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