Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pavement Artist

The other evening I was listening to Mr J. Holland's wireless entertainment show and he was interviewing new young star turn, Adele. She's the one that had that irritating tune out a little while back about chasing pavements. I was staying with my parents at the time and my Mum has little time for what is nowadays termed "R & B" (Leona Lewis "very pretty but that shrieking gets on my nerves" that kind of thing). I think her summary of Chasing Pavements was even less charitable and was voiced almost every time the song was heard.

Something Adele said during her interview struck a chord regarding the transient nature of modern fame and the instant pop-culture era we live in. It was also pretty revealing about how bloody clueless today's "stars" are. She was talking about breaking America, how big the country is and how hard you have to work: "It takes two weeks to tour the UK" she said, almost dismissively. You what? 2 weeks? You stupid stupid woman. Even though I was alone and nobody could hear me, I did some thinking out very loud. She'd only just admitted that she hadn't performed live before she became well-known, except to her peers at her alma mater, the Starz R Us BRIT School in Croydon. She got famous through Myspace. I'm sorry Adele, being a topfriend on Myspace is no substitute whatsoever for slogging up and down the M6 in a Transit full vomit, fag smoke and takeaway bags honing your craft in front of 25 disinterested and extremely pissed punters at the Robin2 in Bilston or getting heckled by the nutter in the flying goggles at the Musician in Leicester. In one throwaway remark you've completely rubbished the efforts of real musicians flogging their guts out four or five nights a week for a slice of the bar just because they love what they're doing. You even had the audacity to play records by Joan Armatrading, one of the hardest working and unassuming artists in the country and the peerless Ella Fitzgerald who despite being one of the biggest stars in the States 65 years ago, couldn't buy a drink in the bars of the hotels she was playing in. You've gone from Myspace to 25 quid tickets in big theatres in a couple of months. Have a rest love, you must be shattered after all that.

Joe Brown, one of the most constantly cited influences on musicians in this country, is celebrating 50 years in the industry this year. He still does a couple of tours every year and that's not two tours of two weeks - he does 50 or more dates a time and he's knocking 70. Two weeks wouldn't get him out of the South East. Conversely, our local rock club here in Crewe, the Limelight, has started cancelling gigs because of lack of interest and that's a crying shame. One of those was by Dr Feelgood for heaven's sake, one of the best live bands this country's ever produced (admittedly no original members left in this line-up) and a couple of months ago I went and saw the Blues Band, at another local venue that holds 800. There were 70 there at most and Paul Jones rather sadly asked if we could bring a friend each next time. But they won't give up touring. I do wonder whether there's a huge section of society that believes all live artists to be famous and that famous means "off the telly". My only consolation is that Adele, and those of her ilk, will be struggling in a few years, probably billed along the lines of the one I saw recently, "X Factor Boot Camp Contestant". Hard work that fame mullarkey.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bad Hair Day

This looks like fun.

And if you're looking for a song with your name in the title, they don't come better than this.

Friday, November 21, 2008


It's been far too long since everyone's favourite comedy nazis have been in the news. My heart has therefore been gladdened by the sight of (metaphorically speaking. I haven't "seen" anything as I still do not own a television, a fact that visibly disappointed the inspector from the licensing authority when he called yesterday) toad-faced arse of toad-faced BNP leader and Spode-a-like, Nick Griffin crying in the newspapers over his inability to keep hold of his "party's" membership list.

What I find particularly entertaining are those twats defending their involvement with the fun-sized brownshirts on the grounds that some of their policies mirror those of the major parties, the idiots completely failing to spot the rather damning error inherent in their argument. This being of course that had the BNP not had a not particularly well-disguised alternative agenda, it would not have a raison d'etre. Were you not interested in this alternative agenda you would probably have joined one of the mainstream parties that was sympathetic to, say, your views on education or had promised to do something about the drains. Even I can spot the odd sensible Tory pronouncement now and again and I've met our local MP who seems a decent cove but you wouldn't get me voting for him or joining his party because I have deeply held priciples that compel me to act for the common good and not self-interest.

Let's get this straight, eh? The BNP exist for one thing and one thing only, smacking seven shades of crap out of Johnny Foreigner. A dozen or more shades if Mr Foreigner happens to be less prone to sunburn. They are predicated solely on hatred, nothing else. If you join them you are a racist. There is no argument. If you claim anything else or didn't know then you are phenomenally stupid and the vote in your hands is a dangerous weapon. I am overjoyed that some of the newly-exposed members are on the end of the kind of hatred their party's more enthusiastic "activists" have in the past doled out to those they don't like the look of. I advise that should you accidentally come across a BNP member on fire, you make the point of deliberately pissing the other way.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Set off.

Watch out, I'm on a moan. It's been a good day for things to moan about and it's what I do best, so shut it.

I don't create much rubbish and I recycle loads hence I'm more than happy with my local council's fortnightly bin collections. Were it not for the fact that the occasional bit of uneaten food would start to go a bit rank and attract rats or tramps I'd be quite happy to have it emptied every four weeks. In fact, I may campaign for this right and attempt to upset every Daily Mail reader in the country. (I do feel sorry for anyone unlucky enough to have to work for that organ. It must be awfully hard. Especially since they've run out of headlines now that the slump in house prices wasn't actually down to the Poles, thieving gypsies or single mothers but their own dear readers who worked in the city).

Unfortunately, several times since I have lived here, other people have taken advantage of my empty dustbin and dumped their own crap on me. While I can honestly say that occasionally I have dropped the odd sandwich wrapper or bagged dog poo in someone else's bin, it has only been as I was passing and only into a bin that had been put out for collection. I would not, for instance, dump recyclable stuff on someone. Or several large bags of rubbish. As my bins are possibly the furthest back from the road in the street, it also requires a degree of affort. Unless, of course, you only have a short trip. Like from next door.

During the last six months I have found several gentlemen's periodicals, drinks cans, bottles, bags of household waste and half-eaten takaways in my bin. Often I hear them being dumped, I've never yet been quick enough to catch the bugger at it though. Last Monday week, just before I put my bin out for collection I heard a noise, went out and couldn't believe what I found: three large bags full of brand new and barely used shoes, all size 5-7. Many with the labels still attached and paired. There were easily 40 pairs. Not only were there shoes, there were several hundred out of date anti-depressant pills, some tampons and a few dozen condoms (both items thankfully unused). There was also one torn-up utility bill identifying the culprit as my next door neighbour. Obviously they hadn't bargained on me actually wanting to put anything in my bin before putting it out or, for that matter, wondering why, in all that is holy, the bloody thing was full up with shoes and jonnies. If there's one thing I've inherited from my Dad it's the ability to spot that something may have a use (and the associated talent for hoarding loads of old crap), so there is now a pile of very decent flip flops and small clothing items in the hall that is slowly being ebayd.

However, it's not on and I called the housing. I moaned. They will act in a very general manner without fingering the culprits because despite their rather careless ways, my neighbours aren't all that bad and we do get on. They're both profoundly deaf so communication is a bit of a non-starter and the kids are lovely (apart from the regulation skateboarding emo son (how does one board with a permanent skulking hunch?)), if a bit on the noisy side. You would be if your parents didn't realise you were making any, I suppose.

Last night it happened again. 11pm I was in the lav. There was a bang from outside. I immediately ran down, lifted the lid of my bin and found a big white bag full of Asda curry containers, jars, cans and junk mail. Nobody in sight. It stinks and collection is not for another week. Thanks.

There is a bad principle here though and it's the one currently being posited by the major nations of the world. And my experience shows it up as being one that is fundamentally and appallingly wrong. You've all heard of the theory of carbon offset - where one nation, let's say the United of States for ease of argument, creates a huge cloud of pollution. It gets away with not doing anything about it for a while by saying to a developing nation that doesn't create much pollution that they'll use their allowance. In reality the big country are my lazy wasteful neighbours; they can't be arsed to either recycle, split their rubbish or even make attempts at reducing it in any way so once they've filled their bin up, they use mine, making a mockery of my effors to save the planet. Or at least not fill up its landfills. The same goes for all these little ofsetting schemes one sees all over the place. For every person out there who offsets, there are several without a conscience maintaining the status quo. It doesn't even have to be someone else - it's like poor dieters - you eat lettuce four days a week so you can have a chippy tea on Friday. If you're serious about it, do it properly from the outset. All those fancy schemes require admin that uses energy that creates pollution. Just cut down!!

To atone for writing this crap, I will put off owning a telly for at least another week.

***Stop press: I got back from writing this at a friend's house yesterday only to find that my bin was full of women's cosmetics. Two large white bags of shampoo and various assorted ungents. Had enough of it now.


The lying cheating coke fiend has been at it again. He now maintains that England won the 1966 World Cup because Geoff Hurst cheated. Get a life. The ball was "Thees far" in front of the line (Pudgey little hands held 18" apart). Listen. Hurst's goal was given. He hit it well and hard, nobody could really see. Maybe it was out, maybe it was just on the line. It was undeniably close. Who knows. The little cheating shit on the other hand was photographed with his hand of god on the ball in 86 and has dined out on it ever since. Oh, and don't forget, Diego, that England beat Argentina 1-0 in 66 after Rattin and his mob tried to scythe them off the park. To be honest pal, Terry Butcher would be doing us all a favour if he wrung your scrawny little neck instead of just ignoring you (T.Butcher 8'6" D.Maradonna 4'9". No contest). For once in my life I hope Scotland manages to win a game. Oh, and your goal in that game wasn't that special either. George Best would have run rings round you and he had wit and charm to go with the talent. Tosser.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


I'm not sure you'll be seeing much on here for a while, I really don't feel up to writing.

I have an outlook on life that, despite what may appear on here from time to time, could be termed romantic. I am also far too trusting for my own good. Consequently I've allowed myself to be taken advantage of rather too often than is comfortable. Regularly for the last 5 or so years, just when I thought that this thing called life was taking a turn for the better following a huge blip it's turned round and mugged me and whereas before I was able to cope, I'm repeatedly finding myself unable to and this frustrates me. People I should be able to trust have let me down, often for no reason. I'm expected to understand yet I'm not allowed to be hurt because then I become too depressing to be around, thus apparently perpetuating the problem. Other people's lies have just made it worse. I step back to try and make things better but it doesn't work. I try and seek help to make things better but I can't do it on my own because the problems, at the end of the day, aren't all mine although my increasing paranoia and all the arguments have come together to make me feel they are. I want to heal the wound because life would be pretty good and a lot of fun if I could but I don't know how to on my own. I can't get any momentum going at all. Sensible people would just walk away and have done with it but I've tried that twice and each time it almost ended in tragedy. Besides, I really don't want to. Really I don't.

I'm sorry about that. I'm just fed up with shouting at walls.

Btw, if any of you have my old email address, it doesn't work any more. Try operator073 at yahoo dot co dot uk

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Notices I Would Like to See No. 1

Some things really annoy me; the so-called "great" British public, for one. This is the first in an occasional series. You are invited to contribute otherwise I may be forced to think up some more.

I wish the following to be pinned up on the inside of every supermarket public lavatory door:

Polite Notice:

This is a supermarket, we sell food. You will be the first one on my back if anything I sell makes you or your precious family vomit. Go back and wash your hands, you filthy piece of pond scum. Thoroughly. Use the soap and hot water we have graciously provided for free. If you don't do this I will will have no option other than to find out where you live and shit in your fridge.

The Manager.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I had a dream

One of the downsides of not owning a telly is that you tend to miss out on episodes of great historical import; listening to them on the wireless isn't quite the same, especially when the commentary isn't up to scratch.

Last night I went to bed fairly early and as is my wont, I left the wireless on a low level, tuned to 5live's coverage of the US election, presented by the snow-shovelling ex children's presenter, Richard Bacon and the rather more astute political editor,John Pienaar. I was hoping to catch the first couple of declarations around 1am, just to see which way the wind was blowing. In the event, I fell asleep around 12.45.

I then found myself walking around Sharon's house in my pyjamas, dithering about using the downstairs lavatory as it involved walking across the back hall which happened to be swimming in dog piss. And I only had socks on my feet. Linn Marie, Sharon's youngest, who was cooking in the kitchen at the time, lost patience and skipped past me into the khazi, oblivious to the mess on the floor. I got upset by my indecisiveness and retired somewhere nondescript. Seeing that she had unwittingly upset me, Linn Marie arranged for my favourite band to put on a special concert for me; unfortunately I didn't recognise any of the players until the star was introduced, a balding, saxophone playing, white polo neck shirt wearing mixed-raced chap with a friendly face going under the name of Paul Kings, coincidentally the same name as a very much Anglo-Saxon and hirsuit childhood friend who now runs a geological testing company in the west country somewhere. We lost touch about 30 years ago bar a brief flurry of Friendsreunited mails a few years back. Paul's solo was interrupted by the piano player who was making his final appearance with the band. He started talking in a familiar drawl and then got up to shake hands with the rest of the band and address the audience, thanking gard and saying thank you to his fellow merkins. It was George W. Bush and he was unaccountably popular.

I woke up. The radio was still on and John McCain was conceding defeat. His voice and intonation, if you are half asleep, is scarily similar to that of the outgoing leader of the free world.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A new age

I listened to that American property developer's version of cricket for a lot of money the other night. He called it "Twenny twenny for twenny" (England called it twenny ten for nowt). Indeed. This laughable fiasco was meant to be the future. In fact, any student of the history of the game will tell you that this is just about exactly what it was a couple of hundred years ago when Thos. Lord set his ground up on Dorset Square - mercenary teams taking on all-comers for cash, or more usually a large amount wagered on the side.

I have an idea for baseball. Eleven a side, two innings each, flat bats, some sticks stuck in the ground to aim at, 6 home runs for clouting the ball straight into the bleachers (and we'll call those stands as well). Believe me guys, this'll go down big in India.

What election?