Friday, November 30, 2012

Winterval Wonderland

So, with November - and Autumn - finally drawing to a close, we have December and the official onset of Winter to look forward to tomorrow.  More importantly, it marks the point at which one can put up Christmas decorations without causing offence.  Not that I will, of course.  For one thing, here at Sleaze Towers we don't actually celebrate Christmas - we prefer Winterval and, in order to keep Winterval special, we like to leave putting up the decorations until only a couple of weeks before the big day itself.  Then, I'll be putting up my official Winterval decorations which, to the untrained eye, look somewhat like artificial Christmas trees.  I'm still mulling over whether or not to have external decorations this year.  I know that every year I end up not doing this, but you never know, this time it could be different.  I mean, so far this year I haven't seen much in the way of garish external Christmas decorations adorning houses.  Usually these start appearing as soon as the clocks go back.  Perhaps it's the recession.  Or maybe this year the perpetrators have decided to show some restraint and re waiting for the beginning of December.

Which isn't to say that I haven't seen any external decorations, it's just that those I've noticed have mainly been on businesses.  Some weeks ago a local Chinese restaurant started sporting a herd of illuminated reindeer and the other day I noticed that one of the out-of-town garden centres was lit up like Las Vegas with various neon Santas, sprigs of holly, snowflakes and the like.  Getting back to Winterval, celebrating this multi-denominational, all-encompassing secular celebration of midwinter has distitinct advantages - it makes avoiding office Christmas parties easy as you can just say that it goes against your Winterval beliefs.  In this age of equality and tolerance, nobody can object to such an excuse.  Alternatively, being multi-denominational means that we Winterval worshippers have the perfect excuse to attend seasonal parties and celebrations thrown by every faith at this time of year if we so wish.  Definitely a win-win situation.  So, be merry, as we're about to enter the season of Winterval!

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Sleazecast: House of Horrors!

At long last!  The final episode of series two of The Sleazecast!  Debuting several months late, this one has been delayed by illness and indecision over the subject matter.  As you can undoubtedly guess from the title and content, this started life as a Hallowe'en edition, but in the end I couldn't even make that deadline.  It has also grown from its original conception to weigh in at sixty eight minutes, making it the longest Sleazecast yet.  Anyway, with the exception of a special Christmas edition, this is the last Sleazecast I intend putting out this year.  I intend taking a break from podcasting whilst I tweak the format again and prepare some more original material for the next series of Sleazecasts.

But without further ado, let's get on with The Sleazecast: House of Horrors, featuring special guests Boris Karloff, Ronald Coleman and Vincent Price.

The Sleazecast: House of Horrors!

or you can download it here as an mp3 file. 

A rough track listing:

1. Intro

2. Tales of The Frightened - Boris Karloff recounts a terrifying tale entitled 'Don't Lose Your Head'.

3.  'Dawn of The Dead Remix' - spooky music from DJ Dr Toast.

4.  Horrific Tales - the Doc recalls his teenage viewings of classic horror movies.

5. 'The Dunwich Horror' Part One of a 1945 adaptation of H P Lovecraft's classic tale of terror.

6. Modern Horror is Rubbish!  Or is it?  Our host looks at contemporary horror flicks.

7.  Horrific Headlines with Suzie Sleaze.

8. 'The Dunwich Horror' Part Two.

9. The Meaning of Horror - The Doc investigates the true nature of the subject.

10. 'The Dunwich Horror' Part Three - the drama concludes.

11. 'Haunted House of Horticulture or, I Walked With a Zucchini'

12.  H P Lovecraft on Film - more musings from our host.

13. 'Haunted House Party' - DJ Dr Toast wraps things up with another spooky remix.

So there you have it - another Sleazecast done and dusted.  Listen and enjoy!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Utter Filth

Apparently Two and a Half Men is filth and you shouldn't watch it.  So says one of its stars who has got religion.  To be frank, I can think of many other good reasons not to watch it.  That it is crap, for instance.  To be honest, I've not seen that many episodes of the (perhaps literally) offending series.  I never got into it - which is always a problem when coming into something part way through, it can take so long to work out what it is about, what the premise is, who the characters are, how they relate to each other and the plot and so on.  Which is why I quite like Big Bang Theory - the premise is simple: they're nerds, or geeks, or whatever.  That's it.  Highly intelligent nerds who can split atoms but can't handle everyday domestic situations.  Also, as very little ever fundamentally changes in terms of relationships, (other than whether Leonard and Penny are on or off), it's easy to pick up at any point during its run.  Unlike, say, How I Met Your Mother, where the ever changing relationships make it just too difficult to bother with for a casual viewer like me.

But getting back to the original point, sitcoms being filth and therefore somehow harmful, speaking personally, I like a bit of smut in a comedy.  Sophisticated wit and intellectual comic conceits are all very well, but there's no beating a damn good belly laugh, and I'm afraid that only smut and filth can provide this.  Be honest, when was the last time a supposedly sophisticated sitcom made you laugh out loud?  You know as well as I do that's why they had to put all that swearing into The Thick of It.  It wouldn't have raised a titter otherwise.  The same goes for Peep Show - it's the smutty bits we all watch it for.  I know that it is currently very fashionable in supposedly intellectual circles to decry smut in humour, but some of us see this for what it really is: middle class snobbery.  They can't stand the fact that we plebs can derive genuine pleasure from something as simple as a fart joke.  And let's not forget that humourous smut has a long and honourable tradition - since the days of Aristophanes it has been an integral part of satire.  There's something honest about filth - you know where you are with it, you know which bit you are meant to be laughing at, unlike many self-styled sophisticated comedies.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

The Small Vision of David Cameron

All those pesky rules and regulations - health and safety, workers' rights, that sort of thing - they are what are holding Britain's economy back, you know.  It must be true, because David Cameron says so and he wouldn't lie about that sort of thing, would he?  Abolishing these things is the key to Britain's economic recovery - just look at how competitive the economies of places in the Far East and South America are, where they aren't encumbered by these silly rules, Dave has told us.  Clearly, all these regulations and labour laws are unnecessary - after all, these countries that don't have them don't have any problems with health and safety do they?  I mean, that clothing factory fire in Bangladesh which has left over a hundred workers dead - most of them women and children - was just a fluke, wasn't it?  Besides, just look at how well the economy of Bangladesh is doing - they've solved poverty and deprivation, haven't they?

Which isn't to say that what happened isn't a tragedy, of course.  Just think of the way the destruction of all that stock and production capacity will put up the prices of t-shirts in UK shops.  Which is all the more reason why we need to press ahead with reforming our labour and health and safety laws, so that we can start setting up these sorts of operations closer to home - just think of the savings we could make in lower shipping costs.  That alone would work wonders for profit margins.  And let's not forget the jobs that would be created.  I really think that David Cameron should be congratulated for drawing our attention to this impediment to economic recovery.  Whilst other politicians waste their time with grand theories about lack of demand and the need for monetary stimuli for the economy, Dave has sensibly narrowed his focus and kept his economic vision small and manageable.  It's the same with his plans for boosting the construction industry - don't bother with nonsense of building complete houses - far too expensive and time consuming - just make it easier for people to build extensions to existing houses by relaxing those foolish planning laws.  I know that there are naysayers out there who will say this doesn't address the need for new housing, but there's no reason why those new extensions can't be let out for rent to DSS cases?  Dave's also got the right idea about how to deal with those lefties and hippies who obstruct any new development through recourse to the law - simplify the system, cut out the number of appeals and judicial reviews they can have.  Damn it, it's about time these plebs learned that they just need to do as they are bloody well told and stop wasting everyone's time by arguing about it!    

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Night Moan

It's Friday I'm still hanging on by my fingertips.  I keep telling myself that things are bound to get better, but they never do.  As ever, the dead weight constantly dragging me down is work.  I've never been a fan of work - like the Ancient Greeks, I believe that it is a disutility, a curse placed upon man by the Gods - but it is increasingly obvious that it has been decided at the highest levels that we should no longer be allowed to derive any pleasure or sense of satisfaction from our jobs.  These days everything is crudely reduced to a series of simplistic (though rarely logical) processes that have to be rigidly adhered to - initiative isn't just discouraged, it is forbidden.  But Hell, I've said all this before.  It should be clear to all of us now that nothing is likely to change in the foreseeable future.  So either I just have to endure it, or I have to summon the courage to do something radical, like jacking it all in and striking out on my own, or finding some other, less horrendous, work.

This time of year and weather don't help - I'm left feeling constantly tired by my daily battle against the elements, whilst the low light-levels and short days threaten to reactivate my depression.  This year, things haven't been helped by my inability to schedule any time off in November.  In the past I've found that taking a couple of days off in mid-November helps break up the monotony of the long run to Christmas, refreshing me for the last leg.  But this year work demands have made this impossible, meaning that, by the time I take my Christmas break, I'll have done a fifteen week stint without taking even a single half-day off.  So, not surprisingly, I'm looking forward to the week and a half I plan to take off over Christmas and New Year.  I would take the full fortnight, but I'm trying to conserve my remaining leave for a longer break some when next year.   Meanwhile, I'll just cling to the idea that I only have another four and half years to go before my mortgage is paid off...


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Appeasing the Gods

Allegedly over two dozen animals died during the making of Peter Jackson's forthcoming film version of The Hobbit, sparking claims of animal cruelty on-set.  Personally, I think that the people making these allegations have got it wrong.  Far from resulting from neglect or cruelty, I think that these animal deaths were planned:  they were actually blood sacrifices to the gods of Middle Earth, to ensure a smooth and trouble-free shoot.  I mean, just look at some of the animals reportedly killed: chickens, pigs and other farm livestock - just the sort of things favoured by crazy high-priests as sacrifices (if low-budget movies haven't lied to me).  Mind you, the dead horses are bit more difficult to explain - I don't ever recall having heard of an animal this large being used in sacrifices.  But hey, this is Middle Earth we're talking about, so all bets are off.  Anyway, the sacrifices seem to have done the trick as the film was shot without any incident or real controversy.  Except for the animal cruelty allegations, of course.

This being a post of two halves, perhaps we should consider some alternative explanations: maybe the animal sacrifices were to do with trying to ward off the End of the World - which, this year, is apparently scheduled for 21 December.  Personally, I think it is all a load of old bollocks, but many other people take it seriously.  Some even welcoming it, believing that, if nothing else, it will save them the expense of buying Christmas presents, as the world will have ended before the big day itself arrives.  Which, when you think about it, is pretty stupid.  What's the point of saving money if the world is going to end?  On the contrary, you should be spending it all - indulging in an orgy of debauchery so as to be sure that you enjoy yourself one last time in the final days of our existence.  Of course, all of this is dependent upon what we think The End of the World actually entails.  Do we mean that the world and everything on it will cease to exist, whether as the result of natural disaster, cosmological event or divine intervention?  Or do we mean that civilisation as we know it will end, with only a handful of survivors left to restart things after some cataclysm?  Then again, we could be talking about some kind of rapture situation, where the good are taken to heaven and the world left to us sinners and heretics.  Whichever it is, I very much doubt it will be happening on 21 December this year.   

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More Management Insanity

If ever I needed further proof that the world has gone mad, it arrived in my work e-mail inbox today.  I had an e-mail, from management, inviting me to attend the opening of the very building I was sitting in, reading the said e-mail.  Now, two obvious points spring to mind here.  The first is that I work in the bloody building, so I have no choice but to be there on that day - I'm there every bloody working day, for God's sake.  The second is that the building is, quite obviously, already open - as witnessed by the fact that I work there and was reading the e-mail  inviting me to its opening at my desk in that very building.  Indeed, we've all been working there since the beginning of August and the place has been fully occupied since September.  So, by any definition of 'open', the building has been 'open' for nearly four months.  But not 'officially', apparently.  It seems for all of the past few weeks, as far as the Department is concerned, we haven't really been there.  The e-mail ended by asking to respond to say whether I would be attending or not - well, as I work there I really have no choice but to be in the building, so why are you bloody asking?

Anyway, this is sadly all too typical of what passes for management these days - they seem to be living in a strange parallel universe, where buildings aren't open until they say they are, despite staff having been working there for months.  They seem to engage in endless meetings, none of which ever seem to actually achieve anything, rather than actually managing staff.  Indeed, instead of managing staff, they keep imposing new working practices - formulated on the basis of non-consultation with the people actually doing the job - which seem to have no relation to the actuality of the job.  Ironically, although these schemes are promoted as increasing efficiency, they generally result in chaos, as they leave staff with no idea of what they are doing and, as they lack any management support, all at sea with regard to the job.  But what the Hell, we can all go the official opening - with a buffet lunch provided by the contractors who refurbished the building, (which means it will probably consist of a couple of Big Macs and fries on a rickety table, if their other handiwork is anything to go by).

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Monday, November 19, 2012


So I see that having strong-armed the BBC into handing over nearly £200,000 of licence fee payers money under threat of legal action, Lord McAlpine (he is not a peadophile) and his lawyers are now trying to do much the same to ITV.  Because, of course, like the BBC, ITV didn't name him as a peadophile.  However, Philip Schofield did wave a piece of paper at the Prime Minister on This Morning, claiming that it contained the names of several alleged peadophiles he'd culled from the web, some of whom the PM knew. But he didn't actually name any of them on-air, not even McAlpine.  But apparently not naming someone is no defence against being sued for defamation these days, it seems.  Employing the same argument as used with the BBC, McAlpine's lawyers claim that by saying, (or even implying, in Schofield's case), that a member of the Conservative Party might be a peadophile, This Morning encouraged people to go online and search for 'Tory peado bastards', or similar terms, which brought up McAlpine's name.  Now, I'm not a lawyer - thank God - but surely such an argument is utter bullshit, clearly designed to stifle any form of journalistic discussion of controversial issues?

Which is why I'm disappointed that the BBC caved in so easily.  This really needs to be tested in a court of law, otherwise any disgruntled rich person can start suing broadcasters and publishers who withhold (for legal reasons) the names of people involved in stories, on the grounds that not naming them will result in others searching the web and coming across libellous rumours written by third parties, (who are the ones actually doing the libelling, but are more difficult to identify and sue and probably don't have any assets anyway).  Franz Kafka would have been proud of such (il)logic.  Which is why I'm hoping against hope that ITV has the balls to tell McAlpine to fuck off and that they'll see him in court.  Really, enough is enough.  I'm sure it was very upsetting for Lord McAlpine to be falsely accused of being a nonce, (although, perhaps if his lawyers had acted previously about the rumours, which have pervaded the net for the better part of a decade, this whole business could have been avoided), but these actions against the BBC and ITV are merely opportunistic and simply give the impression that he is just another greedy Tory bastard.  That's right, fat boy - I've just called you greedy (and fat), not to mention a bastard and, worst of all, a Tory!  Go ahead and set your lawyers on me, for what good it would do - it's called 'fair comment'.  Git.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Night Meanderings

It's Friday and, to be frank, I'm too tired to write a proper post.  Today was a real uphill struggle - the fog descended on Crapchester, suddenly making the streets I know so well unfamiliar and strange.  Fog does that, it also makes day barely distinguishable from night and makes everything seem sinister.  I spent the afternoon half expecting to see Jack the Ripper, or a mummy, come lumbering out of the fog.  Sadly, nothing that interesting happened.  Instead, I had to contend with drivers who didn't seem to grasp that you have to modify your driving style when travelling through fog - at the very least put your headlights on and slow down.  Anyway, having survived the onslaught of apparently suicidal motorists, I got home to find that this evening was the official switching on of Crapchester's Christmas lights, or light, more likely.  I can't say that I've noticed many festive lights going up around the town in the past few weeks.  I have no idea which 'celebrity' they've roped in this year to do the switching on - last year it was two anonymous out of work actors dressed as chipmunks.  Probably someone who once had a bit part in a soap opera.

Whilst I didn't witness this event, I did hear the fireworks which accompanied it, though.  They were bloody loud and nearly drowned out the TV.  Which wouldn't have been much of loss as the only thing on seemed to be Children in Need.  What's the betting that the tabloids have spent the past week trying to find some way of tying at least one of the presenters to the Jimmy Savile sex scandal?  I hope Dave Lee Travis wasn't going to be a guest on it - that would have embarrassing in view of his arrest this week by police investigating Savile.  But hey - there's no need to worry, DLT himself has assured us that the allegations againsy him have nothing to do with children.  That's right, it's OK as he has only been accused of molesting grown women.  Which figures - I'd always imagined that if DLT was a sex offender (which he hasn't been proven to be), he'd be an old school sex pest, probably a groper.  But like I said, it's all just allegations so far.  I'm sure he's as innocent as he claims to be.  Well, that's about it for now.  Have a good weekend.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another Day, Another Crisis

Apparently there's a crisis at the BBC.  OK, so they allegedly made a couple of bad calls regarding the Savile business and Lord McAlpine, (who would have thought that not naming someone as an alleged peadophile could get you sued?), and the Director General has resigned, but from the perspective of a viewer, nothing has changed.  Programmes are going out as scheduled, Newsnight is still running, the news is still being reported.  The fact is that to the majority of people this entire 'crisis' seems to be something ramped up by the media, including the BBC itself.  The problem is that media-types are too wrapped up in their own little world, believing it to be the centre of the universe - they are just too insular to grasp that the rest of us aren't really interested in the internal politics of their world.  Sure, there were poor judgement calls on a couple of stories on a single news programme - but failings in one management team doesn't necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with the whole of journalism and investigative reporting at the BBC.

But for the media, it's a crisis.  Let's face it, simply saying a couple of serious mistakes were made by individuals who should have known better, wouldn't sound as dramatic.  Moreover, it wouldn't reflect the degree of importance the media regards itself with - if any part of it makes a 'mistake', it must automatically be a 'crisis' of national proportions.  So, instead of analysing what went wrong calmly and rationally, we have to endure this media frenzy and the setting up of numerous enquiries.  God, how this country seems to love an enquiry!  Most are bloated talk shops which resolve nothing and cost vast amounts of money.  I see it everywhere these days, particularly in the public sector: the slightest mistake, or a single complaint, is turned into a major crisis with endless investigations, meetings and reports.  Inevitably, it all ends the same way: a set of recommendations which make the job even more difficult and completely miss the crucial fact that mistakes do happen, usually as a result of human error.  None of us is infallible.  Luckily, most of us work in jobs where our mistakes won't have life-threatening consequences - yet they are treated as if they do.  I can understand why mistakes made by, say, medical professionals result in such high levels of scrutiny, but for most of us it is completely inappropriate - except in terms of allowing managers to look as if they are doing something, that is.  We really need to start putting things into perspective.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Right Wing Nut Jobs

I mentioned conspiracy theories last time.  Which isn't unusual.  However, I got to wondering why it is that conspiracy theories appeal so much to right wing nut jobs?  Sure, I know that there are also liberal conspiracy theorists, but they tend to be more interested in the hippie dippy, mystical type of conspiracy.  When it comes to political conspiracies involving 'World Governments', black helicopters, Jewish bankers and secret cabals of trans-dimensional shape-shifting lizards secretly ruling the world, you find that the main proponents are invariably right-wing nut jobs.  Personally, I suspect that it comes down to the fact that they need some kind of explanation for the fact that their distorted extreme right wing view of the world isn't reflected by the media or the majority of sane people, and is consistently rejected at the polls.  Clearly, it's all a conspiracy which subverts the media and brainwashes the rest of the population so that they can't see 'the truth'.

That's certainly how the right wing nutters are trying to explain Obama's victory in the recent US Presidential elections.  In this case their belief in a conspiracy involving the 'liberal media', the Black Panthers and God knows what else, has been reinforced by their having believed their own propaganda that their own candidate was consistently ahead in the polls.  The problem was that they only saw the polls which told them what they wanted to hear.  In truth, after the boost Romney enjoyed after winning the first debate, taken as a whole, the polls consistently showed Obama moving ahead.  Obviously, the media preferred to continue to characterise the race as being 'neck-and-neck' - it makes for a more exciting story than 'sitting President heading for victory'.  I remember something similar happening here during the last general election but one, where the press desperately tried to convince us that Michael Howard had a real chance against Tony Blair.  He didn't - Labour one another convincing victory.  But that was probably a conspiracy too...  

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Peadophile Circus

I keep hoping that this Jimmy Savile business and everything connected with it will go away soon.  Don't get me wrong, I think that if it is found that Savile abused underage women (and maybe boys), then it should be properly investigated.  I also think that if it is found that anyone else is involved, they should be prosecuted.  I've also been happy to exploit the scandal (or, to be accurate, the media circus surrounding it), both here and over at The Sleaze, in order to create traffic. However, the hysteria, stoked up by the media, which has resulted from the scandal is counter-productive.  The police investigation into Savile seems to be designed purely to provide the tabloids with further salacious headlines as it teases us with the possibility that other celebrities might be involved, yet arrests only clapped out has beens, at least two of which are already convicted peadophiles, (Gary Glitter and Ray Teret).  Worst of all, it perpetuates the idea that there are hordes of predatory peadophiles roaming Britain, ready to snatch children at the drop of a hat, and that theses peadophiles are organised into 'peadophile rings', including wealthy and powerful people who protect them all from prosecution.  A bit like medieval ideas on witches and witchcraft. 

The truth is that most child abuse takes place within the family unit, with the perpetrator known to the victim.  But this isn't what the public want to hear.  They don't want to believe that peadophiles are 'just like us', that they can live outwardly normal lives, get married, bring up families.  So, not wishing to alienate their readership, the press instead demonise peadophiles, make them into monsters by portraying them as the evil 'other', completely inhuman.  To explain why such obvious monsters aren't detected until it is 'too late', they give us the 'peadophile ring' and the idea that powerful members of such groups are abusing their wealth, power and influence to keep their activities secret.  Of course, when somebody as weird and flamboyant as Jimmy Savile is implicated, it seems to vindicate their version of peadophilia. Which is precisely why they are reluctant to let the story go.

All of which brings us to the latest chapter in this seemingly ever-expanding peadophile circus: the so-called 'cris at the BBC' following the apparent discrediting of the Newsnight story accusing at least one Thatcher-era Tory politician of being involved in child abuse in the 1970s and 80s at a North Wales childrens' home.  Amidst all the furore whipped up by the BBC's rivals about 'journalistic integrity' and the like, it is worth remembering that the BBC story in question didn't name the politician allegedly involved.  He did that himself, when Lord McAlpine admitted that he was the unnamed politician, but that he was entirely innocent.  Apparently, despite not being named (and most people not having a clue who the report was referring to) he felt that he had to act because his name was being linked with the report on the internet.  Now, this is where I have a slight problem:  the North Wales child abuse story isn't new, it, and the allegations concerning an unnamed Tory politician, has been covered in various media for well over a decade.  During all of this time, McAlpine has been consistently linked, by name, with it online.  Indeed, I seem to recall that the now defunct Scallywag magazine even named him in print.  So why didn't he act before?  Why allow a decade of innuendo and defamation to pass before taking action?  Why choose this particular story to take action over?  I'm not saying that his failure to act previously implies any guilt on his part, I'm just curious about the timing, especially as this time he wasn't named.  If I was a conspiracy theorist, (which I'm not), then I might suspect that it is all part of a Tory-backed plot to destabilise the BBC and neuter its impartial news reporting...

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Friday, November 09, 2012

Donald Trump's Comb Over

It's a question that has been bugging me for quite a while now:  why does Donald Trump sport that bloody comb over?  I mean, with his kind of money you'd think that could afford a decent toupee, one of those where you can't see the join, or a good weave.  Damn it, why doesn't he just have a hair transplant - it doesn't even have to be hair transplanted from his own arse.  I'm sure a multi-millionaire like Trump could afford a full scalp transplant from someone with a full head of hair.  But no, he chooses to wander around with a comb over even less convincing than the one Robert Robinson used to brazenly present Call My Bluff with, daring contestants to comment on it.  As a man who once had luxurious locks but is now coming to terms with thinning hair, I have personal experience of the desire to keep up the illusion of hirsuteness.  I too have experimented with comb overs.  However, none of them have ever looked as ridiculous as Trump's.  The secret is to know that you have to deploy your hair strategically on the thinning areas. not just try to wildly comb it over every thinning patch.  

Personally, I've chosen to focus on making myself look fully haired from the front.  I accept that, viewed from behind, I'll have a bald patch,.  But seen head on, I can pass for fully haired.  This a lesson Trump really must learn - when you are balding, you simply don't have enough hair to cover your entire scalp any more.  As a further piece of advice, I'd suggest the selective use of hats - these also can give the impression of a full head of hair and can prevent the disarrangement of the comb over by the elements.  Trust me, there's nothing worse than a rain soaked or windswept comb over to exaggerate the extent of one's baldness.  But it all comes back to the 'why' of Trump's comb over.  Is it a statement of some kind?  Is he saying 'Look, I'm so rich and powerful, I don't have to care what you common people think of me'?  But the trouble is that it does matter as, if Trump wants to be taken seriously, particularly as a politician (which is what he seems to want), he can't afford to look like a twat.  Believe me, spouting all that 'birther' nonsense about President Obama is one thing - the US expects its right-wing millionaire Presidential contenders to be complete nut jobs - but being in baldness denial to the extent of looking like a mentally challenged buffoon just isn't acceptable. 

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Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Schofield List

Thank God for Philip Schofield!  There's something I never thought that I'd say.  After spending the past couple of days effectively dead in the water traffic-wise, mainly thanks to the US Presidential elections which saw US visitors virtually vanishing, I posted a new story on The Sleaze about Tories and sex scandals that I thought would be a sure-fire winner.  However, even after it auto-posted at eight o'clock this morning, traffic remained dead.  Then, thank God, Philip Schofield chose to hand David Cameron a list of alleged high profile sex offenders - some of them supposedly top Tories - on This Morning.  Traffic suddenly exploded as people searched the web for that list of top Tory peadophiles - and it hasn't stopped since.  Not, of course, that anyone reading Dishonourable Members will be any the wiser as to these miscreants' identities.  Indeed, the story is meant as a riposte to the way in which this whole 'story' about the alleged involvement of public figures in the North Wales peadophile scandal has been handled by the press - all innuendo but very few facts.  Just like the Savile business, actually.  Such an approach reduces a serious story to the level of a lurid gossip column.

So, I just made up the most ludicrous and unsubstantiated allegations involving Tory-supporting celebrities and Tory ministers from the eighties (all dead to avoid legal action), and put it out there in the form of a supposed exclusive newspaper expose. Who needs actual facts when we can have an unverifiable - but salacious - testimony from an alleged witness, instead?  To be fair to Cameron, he handled the This Morning business reasonably well, refusing to look at the list - which was apparently culled from various completely unsubstantiated internet rumours.  Then he blew it all by telling us he doesn't want to see a 'witch-hunt against gay people' as a result of these allegations.  Really, Dave?  I'm more than mildly disturbed that you seem to equate peadophilia and homosexuality.  As far as the rest of the world is concerned, the only groups that might suffer a backlash are peadophiles, Tories and clapped-out almost forgotten seventies celebrities.  Speaking of which, I see that Ray Teret - described as Jimmy Savile's former flat-mate and chauffeur - has been arrested by police investigating Savile.  Personally, I remember Teret - who served six months for sleeping with an underage girl in 1999 - as a local radio DJ and presenter of Saturday morning kids' TV programmes for ITV in the 1980s.  ITV?  Surely that can't be right?  I thought only the BBC employed nonces to work around children - at least that's what the Tories and the Daily Mail claim.  Hmmm.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Hot Bed of Depravity

As I predicted, desperate to maintain some momentum for the Jimmy Savile scandal, the tabloid press is now desperately dredging up allegations against anybody who worked at the BBC in the 1970s and is now dead, (thereby avoiding the risk of legal action).  Over the weekend it was the late Leonard Rossiter being accused.  The gist of The Sun's ludicrous story is that back in 1972, when filming Nigel Kneale's Year of the Sex Olympics at the BBC, Rossiter supposedly witnessed the sexual assault of a male extra by another individual, and did nothing.  Indeed, according to the paper's source - who also witnessed the assault but said nothing about it for forty years - he looked like he might have been enjoying watching it.  An anonymous source who takes four decades to get outraged enough to report an alleged sexual assault, not to the police, but to a tabloid newspaper.  But perhaps, at the time, he thought it wasn't unusual.  After all, according to the source, back in the 1970s the BBC was a hot bed of depravity.

Still, taken at face value, these allegations against Rossiter put a whole new spin on the dynamics of the relationships in the 1970s sitcom Rising Damp.  No wonder Rigsby had such an interest in Philip and Alan, the young men who lodged in the attic room.  He was always either lurking outside their door or going through their things whilst they were out.  I've no doubt that there also cut scenes where he kept walking into the bathroom whenever one or other of them were in the bath or shower.  It also now becomes clear why he never got anywhere with Miss Jones - his supposed interest in her was clearly just a cover.  "Ohhh Miss Jones, that Philip, what a fine figure of a man he is - all that raw primitive passion.  Not to mention the way he handles his loofah in the bath..."   Seen in this light the love triangle between Rigsby, Philip and Miss Jones takes on a whole new dimension.  Actually, Rossiter's other hit sitcom, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin can also be reinterpreted after these 'revelations' about him.  Maybe Reggie's reasons for faking his own death had less to do with his desire to escape the rat race than the fact that he feared the net was closing on him with regard to his extracurricular activities.  And when he did reappear under a new identity, he was sporting a beard of the type favoured by stereotypical sex offenders...

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Monday, November 05, 2012

A Moustache is For Life

It's that time of year again when male semi-celebrities try and grow moustaches for charity.  'Movember', they call it.  Let's be clear here - I'm sure that it is all being done in a good cause, but the fact is that a moustache should be for life, not just November.  Possession of a moustache makes a powerful statement about the man wearing it - they shouldn't just be grown on a whim, then discarded.  Indeed, it does moustaches a huge disservice when these micro-celebs grow a bit of fluff, or something that looks like a dirty smudge on their upper lips - it gives young men, potential moustache-growers themselves, the false impression that these straggly, unkempt adornments are all that the moustache has to offer, thereby putting them off attempting to cultivate their own.  Believe me, those weedy 'Movember' bits of bum fluff aren't real moustaches - they can't hold a candle to a magnificent handlebar moustache, or a mighty Zapata.  Those are proper facial hair which take months of careful cultivation.

Obviously, just growing the moustache is only half the story - they need constant care and attention.  Regular trimming is required to stop them becoming ragged and untidy.  Combing helps too, not to mention waxing for certain styles.  That's why I shaved off my own moustache several years ago - despite sporting it (in several different styles) for more than a decade, I realised that I just wasn't prepared to keep putting in the hours to keep it in top condition.  And that's the hard truth theses 'Movember' moustache dilettantes don't seem to realise - unless you are deadly serious about putting a lifetime of effort into your 'tache, than you aren't fit to wear one - it was a hard truth that I eventually had to realise.  Of course, it is possible to go to the other extreme, like those competitive moustache growers.  Moustaches should never be forced to cruelly compete with each other - it isn't natural.  As I said before, a moustache is personal statement and I'm not sure what having a hairy London Bridge on your upper lip is stating, other than 'I am a twat'.   


Thursday, November 01, 2012

Christmas Watch 2012

I know that today was the start of November, but this year Crapchester's powers that be have been quick out the blocks.  This evening, when I wandered down to the 99p shop, (I'm the last of the big spenders), I couldn't help but notice that some of the town centre Christmas decorations were already up!  Not only that, but the Christmas themed kiddie rides and Santa's grotto had also appeared.  These were being presided over by a very unhappy looking girl dressed as an elf.  I guess that elf boots, tights, hordes of kids and the minimum wage aren't a happy combination.  Anyway, it really shouldn't have come as a surprise - all the Christmas crap had already started creeping into the supermarkets, (the 99p shop was just stocking their seasonal lines when I went in there tonight), but somehow the first day of November seems a bit soon to be sticking up the decorations.  For one thing, it means that I'll have to put up with the sight of miserable elves for nearly two months!  Believe me, after two months of seasonal decorations, Christmas won't seem so special.  Moreover, bearing in mind that they probably won't get around to taking them down until February, that means that a third of the year will have been 'Christmas'.

Personally, I'm doing my best to ignore Christmas.  We've only just had Hallowe'en for God's sake!  At least the Americans have Thanksgiving to insulate them from Christmas.  For the rest of us, the corporate behemoth seems to need a longer run in to the big event every year.  I'm guessing that this year, with the recession and all, they'll be even more desperate to push up the festive sales figures.  Indeed, I've also noticed that the Christmas TV adverts seem to have started in earnest today.  I wouldn't mind, but they make all this fuss about selling us crap in the run up to Christmas, but once it arrives, the very same companies can't wait for it to be over and for us wage slaves to get back to work.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again, there are meant to be twelve days to the festival -  these days we're getting severely short-changed.  Twelve days of debauchery, that's what we want!  Once again I'll be spending the next few weeks campaigning for the introduction of an extended seasonal break: Winterval.  You know you want it!