29.11.11

PAST? TENSE.

I'd hate to be a Historian.

The past is an awful place.

Quite apart from the plague, the malnutrition, the scurvy, the infant mortality, the slavery, the genocides, the Kajagoogoos and so on, I've been watching the News of late and have discovered it's also full of recent racism, sexual-misconduct, bad banking practises, phone-hacking, illegal wars and whatnot... what a godawful place.

Bloody History.

I can't even think about it anymore.

Why do the Time Team keep insisting on digging up the History and prodding it with sticks?

What is wrong with Tony Robinson?



Did he hate being Baldrick that much that he feels the need to grab a hold the History, render it in glorious 3D graphic-form and rub our faces in it's dirty business?

Leave the past where it is. Don't you realise what a sour, foul, horrible place the History is, Baldrick? Don't you watch the News? No-one likes it.

Everybody wants to move forward, not backward.

How many times have we heard a a public figure say they want to move forward?

"It's time to move forward." 
"What's done is done."
"Let's look to the future." 
"History will judge us," they say, "It's time to draw a line under this."

They're very keen on drawing lines under things. Unfortunately, they haven't understood that if you underline something you don't take people's attention away from it. Quite the opposite.

If anything, you make whatever it is you want people to forget a lot more noticeable as it has a big fucking line under it.

Still, many people in positions of power who have displayed gargantuan levels of hypocrisy, selfishness, and brain-melting fuckwittery like to draw lines under the decisions they have made in the hope that we will forget these nuggets of horseshit and continue with our day.

The Banks say it about the financial meltdown. Apparently banging on about their culpability makes it difficult for them to concentrate on clearing up their mess.


Tony Blair said it about his decision to invade Iraq on questionable 'evidence'.


Sepp Blatter has said it about his idiotic statements about how to tackle racism in football.


Republican Presidential hopeful Herman Cain has said it about the sexual harassment charges he is accused of. And his alleged thirteen year extra-marital affair...


Tha tabloid press have said it about intrusive, abusive, malicious reporting and the illegal practice of phone hacking.


David Cameron has said it about his conduct in the Bullingdon Club, his decisions to shut libraries, charging students to attend university, the NHS, his own alleged drug-use at University...


....in fact he pretty much says it every time he opens his big posh gob.

(Although, why he wants us to "move forward" to a society that his Chancellor, Boy George, is determined to fashion into a Dickensian Workhouse is a bit more of a mystery?

Sorry, that's probably being a bit unfair to George Osborne. When I think back, I was pretty terrible at my first proper job too... )



Anyway, back to the Future...

"Move along," they say, "let's embrace the future. The future is where it's at. Let's look to the future. All those bad decision, calamitous injustices, illegal wars, broken promises, shattered vows, they are all in the past.
They are history."

But the trouble with history is that it repeats itself.

At the moment we have an unpopular Tory government, disgruntled and politicised students, riots in our major cities, record youth unemployment, unions calling for strike action, severe austerity measures, two wars, a budgetary collapse.....

....and if all that wasn't bad enough we have Sinitta and Pat fucking Sharp back on prime-time telly!

If History HAS to repeat itself, does it have to be the fucking Eighties??


As the great dramatist George Bernard Shaw once said:

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, 
how incapable must Man be of learning from experience?"

We have to learn from History in order to make things better, not just dump any old toxic shit we don't want others to notice there, otherwise History becomes the domain of bigotry, hatred, and ignorance.


Mind you, that does explain why David Starkey is such a massive tool....


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25.11.11

"UVAVU!!"

I'm in a bit of a quandary. A dilemma. A pickle, if you will.

You see I'm a massive comedy fan and the company I work for has just cancelled not one but two of my favourite comedy shows.

The first one is a kid's show that I like to watch with my beautiful tiny girlfriend's beautiful tiny daughter and goes by the rather peculiar title of "I'm Sorry I've Got No Head".

It's brilliant!

If you've not seen it then I urge you to head to CBBC and hunt it out. It doesn't matter that it's a kid's show, so is Horrible Histories and that got the British Comedy Award for Best Sketch Show 2010, ahead of Armstrong & Miller and Harry & Paul.

Come to think of it, The Goodies was a kids show - as John Cleese once famously noticed.




Pfft!
He can talk!

Most of the Python's came from children's TV - Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones all came from the ITV kid's show Do Not Adjust Your Set.

As did David Jason and the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.



Kids telly is fucking awesome!

But that's not my point, my point is that a show like "I'm Sorry I've Got No Head" has barely got into it's stride. It has a following and works on brilliant, repetitive catchphrases but it has only been going for three years and has now been unceremoniously dumped in a cost-cutting exercise.

It is such a shame as it has an awesome cast including some of the very best people working in British comedy today, including Marcus Brigstocke, Marek Larwood, Anna Crilly, Mel Geidroyc, James Bachman, Justin Edwards and Fergus Craig.

Now you may not recognise their names, but if you're a comedy fan you will have seen them in shows such as Peep Show, The Thick Of It, Rev, Star Stories, Extras, That Mitchell & Webb Look, Saxondale, Black Books, Lead Balloon and loads more. they've got a great pedigree and some brilliant sketches.

Clive the Clown is quite a disturbing creation, the Fearless Vikings are wonderfully silly, the Witchfinder General is pure Python, Mark the Record Breaker is the kind of annoying tit that Harry Enfield would be proud of but my favourites are the two screeching old biddies Jasmine And Prudith, who scream a tirade of baffling nonsense at a poor man (always poor Nick Mohammed!) and generally come to the conclusion that they are being conned and that everything in life will cost a thousand pounds.



It's absolutely glorious stuff!

But now it is no more.

My employers have killed off one of the things that my beautiful tiny girlfriend's beautiful tiny daughter loves to watch. With me. They've killed OUR show...

But that isn't my quandary-dilemma-pickle. Oh no.

You see, the Beeb have also killed off one of the most innovative and consistently anarchic, surreal and laugh-out-loud shows of the past 20 years.

THEY'VE CANCELLED SHOOTING STARS!!!


How could they?? It's Shooting Stars!!

It's brilliant and has found it's feet again after a few so-so episodes. That said, even a so-so Shooting Stars has more gags per minute than an entire decade of My Family.

The reason given for cancelling Shooting Stars is that the Beeb are cutting back on "panel shows".


Panel shows??

It's all they chuffing make these days! That's like Fray Bentos cutting back on making fucking pies!!

And does anyone actually believe that Shooting Stars is a real panel show? Do they think that the points are awarded correctly and that they serve a purpose? Shooting Stars is so much more than a panel show, it's slapstick, mime, Music Hall, sketches, sound-gags, sight gags, parody, surrealism and art.

It's the show that gave the Nation the Pub-singer round, the leg-rub-mating dance and the sarcastic handbag mime!

Where else would you see John Peel throwing sprouts out of a pram?

George Dawes singing about the life-saving merits of a baked potato?

Jack Dee with his face like a hard-boiled bollock?

Johnny Vegas giving the most impassioned version of Love On The Rocks ever recorded?

Angelos Epiphemiou giving John Humphrey's a bollocking?

Or even social comment like this gem from Vic -"True or false 80% of Daily Mail readers believe that Poland is now empty..."

Genius!

They even had one of the country's greatest writers and intellectual heavyweights, Mr Will Self, as a regular team captain and sketch performer.

Will Self!!

Pretending to be Crocodile Dundee!!



That is fucking epiphenomenal!!

Now I know humour is subjective, and that some people cannot stand Vic & Bob, but surely it is of more value than, say, Mock The Week, with it's tiresome parade of pub-bores making Eric-Pickles-Is-Fat jokes?

And just how expensive is it to make? Probably a lot less than BBC2's big money-drain Jeremy Clarkson spends on his wives not finding out about each other..

Anyway, most of the props are made by Vic & Bob in their shed!

As Bob Mortimer posed on Twitter:
"True or false ;Vic and Bob wrote and performed the whole last series of SS for less money than (Alan) Hansen gets for 2 appearances on MODay?"

But even that isn't the root of my pickle-quandray-dilemma... the problem with cancelling one of the most inventive and funny isn't that it puts me fiercely against my paymasters, but that it allies me with my enemies.

THE SUN HAVE LAUNCHED A CAMPAIGN TO SAVE SHOOTING STARS!!!



 The Sun!!

Fuck's sake!!

I mean, I know they'll try every tactic going to divert attention away from the daily outrages coming out of the Levenson Inquiry but even the fucking Sun can see that cancelling Shooting Stars is a boneheaded decision.

Dammit!! I don't want to agree with the fucking Sun!!

I haven't been this conflicted since The Daily Mail published it's one and only truly heroic front page.


Obviously I am not equating the Stephen Lawrence murder with the loss of a comedy show, that would be ridiculous, but I don't like feeling proud of something odious that normally makes me want to fucking gip in my mouth then swallow it again.

The Sun even have a petition and have suggested that the show might go to Sky!

NOOOO!!! 

We simply cannot let that happen. The Beeb have to turn this decision around, like they did with 6music and Asian Network and will probably do about local radio... probably.

You may no agree with me and think it should go, but once again you are wrong.

You might think it is a waste of Licence Fee, but again you are wrong.

A waste of licence fee would be thirty fucking years of Last Of The Summer Wine, forty three years of Question of fucking Sport, ten years of My Family, eleven years of The Weakest Link, one fucking minute of that Nick Knowles & Julia Bradbury fucking programme that makes the One Show look like The Wire.

Oh. And also The One Show.

We all have favourite shows on the Beeb and shows we hate - and the great thing about the Beeb is that it makes all of these shows for different audiences. We can't pick and choose what we want the Licence Fee to be spent on (yet) and so shows like Cash In The Attic and Eggheads are put in the schedule to appeal to mutton-headed fuckbricks alongside University Challenge and Antiques Roadshow... no, hang on.

They are the exactly the same programmes.

We need Shooting Stars and I'm Sorry I've Got No Head because they are funny, brilliant, daft, clever, puerile, informative, stupid, original and fun.

Don't believe me?

Try watching this and keeping a straight face for the next minute....



Whatever you think about Vic & Bob, or kids TV, looking around the world today you've got to agree that we could all certainly do with a few more laughs like this.


SAVE SHOOTING STARS - AND DON'T MAKE ME AGREE WITH THE SUN!!

THE MUSINGS OF MISTER WILLIAMS
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PLEASE RE-POST OR RETWEET IF YOU LOVE COMEDY...
And if you wish to complain about the cancelling of Shooting Stars, but don't wait to soil yourself by joining The Sun's campaign, you can phone, email or write to the BBC here


Yorkshire Street Magic!

23.11.11

PHWOAAAR!! - WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?

"Ooooh..... sex. Sexy, sexy-sex..."

... as Alan Partridge would say - although, oddly, not at his appearance at the Levenson Inquiry into Amoral Lying Bastards - it's EVERYWHERE!


Sex, not the Levenson Inquiry.

That is quite noticeable by it's absence in certain newspapers.

But sex, eh? Eh?

You can't move for it.

There's that little plank who used to be on the X-Factory before he started acting like a proper popstar and snorted up some drugs and got chucked out by Gary Barlow. He's in the paper every day talking about his shame at being chucked out of a glorified karaoke night by one of the wettest men in Britain.

He's so ashamed he's started to make things up to be ashamed about, like today's claim that he has slept with seventy-one women.

Seventy-one.

He's eighteen years old with a head like a flat garlic-bread being shoved through a bearskin hat and he reckons he's slept with seventy-one women??

That's not a caption. He actually carries that around with him.

Now, normally my reaction to a spotty Herbert bragging about his pork-swordsmanship with such obvious bullshittery would be to laugh so hard in his stupid lying face until the force of my laughter caused every spot on his face to erupt, like an acne-powered firework display, but in this instance I cannot.

Why?
He has proof.

He reckons he keeps a log.

Which seems very appropriate for a fucking plank with a permanent wood.

Apparently, he keeps a record of the women and scores them out of 10 - having already given himself 12 and a half out of ten.

Classy.

I bet his parents are proud. He's like the personification of those fucking arseholes on the WKD commercials or the sexist billboard adverts for Boost energy drink.


By the way, if you see anyone drinking Boost or WKD you have my permission to punch them right up the chuffer.

Pricks.

I don't want to sound like an Amish forefather, but I do think there's too much emphasis on sex in the media. Oftentimes it is completely inappropriate.

About a year or so ago I took my beautiful tiny girlfriend's beautiful tiny daughter (aka, The Murnkey) to a council-run, free, Party In The Park. It was just the two of us attending as my beautiful tiny girlfriend had to work. So we were simply having a lovely picnic by a stately home that had been given over to some pre-teeny pop nonsense, awaiting the appearance of Pixie Lott.

At the time she had become besotted by Pixie Lott as she had heard her songs on Radio One. I got tickets and we sat, with our little picnic of ham sandwiches, chips n' dips, pork pies and fizzy pop.

All was going well until some utter cockbobber called Basshunter came on the stage.

Now, bear in mind this was a pre-teen audience and a free event run by the council.

He came onstage and so his opening gambit was "Hello, you crazy motherfuckers!!!"

So far - not so good. I managed to distract Murnkey with some crisps.

"Who's feeling sexeeeeeeee???" this bombastic imbecile then yelled.
To a field of little girls...

"What does 'sexy' mean?" asked my beautiful tiny girlfriend's beautiful tiny daughter.

I choked on my pork pie.

"Ummm..." I said, buying some time, "It means, um, feeling pretty and happy, I think..." 

Not my best lie, but I thought it would get us through.

She leapt from the picnic blanket, waved her arms about and yelled - "I'M FEELING SEXY!!"

She was five. People looked at us. This was not good.

"Sweet fucking Jesus", I thought. "I'm going on a fucking register."

What I managed to say, once I'd stopped spluttering kettle chips & Vimto, was - "Sit down, sweetheart, and eat your crisps..."


In his defence, Basshunter has apparently been diagnosed with Tourettes.

Not that it fucking helped at the time.

There's a time and a place for Basshunter - probably about 3am on a Friday night at Manumission. Not 3pm on a Sunday afternoon at Temple Newsham.

But that gormless prick aside, is there anything less sexy than someone who wants to prove how sexy they are?

I mean, for instance, look at someone like Nancy D'ellolliollio.

There isn't an article printed about her or an interview aired where she doesn't bang on about how men want to bang on her. She's desperate to be portrayed as a sexual being. This is despite her looking like a cross between former Radio One afternoon DJ Gary "Oooh Gary Davies" Davies and that young puppet from the Dolmio ads...


 ...in a frock.

But according to Nancy, every bloke she meets starts mentally humping her leg like a horny Jack Russell. Recently she was being interviewed about Italy's role in the Eurozone Crisis and "revealed" that Silvio Belusconi fancied her.



They had to prise him free of a knot-hole in a fucking fence and pull his pants back up just so he could come inside and resign.

She also "revealed" that Tony Blair fancied her too - and that's why she and Cherie don't get on. Now, it's not often that a sentence will have you feeling sorry for the Blairs but the thought of Nancy dragging her arse around the carpet and purring like Eartha Kitt is enough to make you want to grant them safe haven.

Apparently men cannot resist her, which begs the question - "Then, how come Sven Goran Eriksson- Sweden's premier Professor Yaffle lookalike - dumped you for Ulrika Jonsson??!"


Uvavu!

Maybe he'd seen her dance?

I swear, she was so clod-hoppingly graceless on Celebrity Come Dancing that it looked for all the world like Anton DuBeke was miming a routine about the time he had to put a stepladder back in the shed and his turn-ups got caught. On a particularly gusty day.

It's nothing new, people have made themselves look ridiculous before now by blathering about their sexiness. Rod Stewart has never been more amusing than when he recorded this gem.
But at least he looks like he's in on the joke and having a giggle.

Unlike Madonna.

You know, Madonna? You must remember her?

 She was a bit like Rhianna if Rhianna had a voice like a nasal gibbon and was a little less discreet.

Before she started grinding herself at men a third her age, looking like the portrait Fearne Cotton keeps in her attic, Madonna tried to convince us that she was the sexiest thing on planet earth and the way she did this was to release a book called, imaginatively, "Sex" which showed her pretending to shag Vanilla Ice.


If ever there was an image likely to put people off sex it's a box-haired idiot licking three-inch of foundation off grim-faced tranny.

There's nothing sexy about saying how sexy you are. It never works.

But we don't learn. The media is obsessed with sex and at this time of year the papers are full of saucy, sexy tips on how to pull at the office party, how to get a perfect body and how celebrities have either lost loads of weight and are now sexy (like Dawn French) or have put on a bit of weight and are now not sexy (like Martine McCutcheon).

And on and on and on it goes - sex sells newspapers and so we get Frankie the Plankie lying about his tiny pecker, Rhianna showing the paps her paps, that girl from the conman-show having a shower in the Celebrity Jungle to illustrate a story about Freddie Starr almost dying...


... Nancy Dolmio heavy breathing on the One Show and Madonna putting her hip out trying to pull an evidently homosexual backing dancer while her teenage daughter shrinks into the nightclub shadows, her face glowing pillar-box red with embarrassment.

And while the press use long lenses to show us a BB or TOWIE-slapper on the beach, rifle through Steve Coogan's bins and generally act like legalised stalkers they can say it's all our fault, because we NEED TO KNOW who Hugh Grant is bumping uglies with.

It's in the public interest to out-Ryan Giggs as an adulterer, they'll say.

While it might be funny to point fingers at horny celebs and footballers it's worth remembering that while we are sniggering like schoolboys who have watched others draw a willy on the supply teacher's blackboard, the reality is that all this reporting about other's sex lives is a smokescreen.

It excuses the tabloids shameful and evil practices. Practices that fuel this need for gossip.

Practices that may sometimes take lives.

I'll leave you with this sobering thought:

"The Leveson inquiry into press standards and ethics has heard from a Glasgow couple whose 16-year-old daughter was stabbed to death by another school pupil. They said negative reporting about their daughter -- after she was killed -- had led to the suicide of their son, who they said was found with newspaper cuttings of the case in his hand." 

- BBC NEWS 23.11.11


Still want to see Sienna Miller's bum?


For fuck's sake people.

Grow up.

And keep it in your pants.




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17.11.11

JOHN TERRY: ROLE MODEL

So which John Terry is your role-model?

The adulterous one with the super-injunction against his best mate's wife?


The violent one accused of assault and affray with a nightclub bouncer?


Or the alleged racist?

 

I'm not sure, myself.

I think I wasn't keen on him when he parked his Bentley in that Disabled Bay.

Either way, he is still the Captain of the England Football squad and that says more about the beautiful game than I ever could.

That's right. He's the Captain. Of England. The Best of the lot.

It has to be said, first of all, that John Terry is being investigated for alleged racist abuse by FIFA.
Nothing has been proved.

It's taken almost a month, which may seem a long time for you and me to have been investigated into racist conduct in the workplace - but then we didn't cost our bosses tens of millions to sit around on our arses when they need us for a couple of European Championship warm-up matches.

Well, I'm assuming that's the case...

And anyway, FIFA are investigating - so that should put everyone's mind at rest.
Especially John Terry's.

The President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, has made his feelings known about racism in football.

There is no racism in football.
None at all.
He denies it even happens. 


But if it did happen then it's all sorted out afterwards with a handshake.
Like gentlemen.

Gentlemen racists.

And who wouldn't want to shake hands with a Gentleman racist?
They are by far and away the best kind of racist.

The more cynical commentators have suggested that Sepp Blatter is out of touch and should resign, they don't agree with his assessment of the situation. But who would replace him? Let's not forget that during the FIFA Presidential election, mired by allegations of corruption and bribery, he stood alone.

Literally. As in no-one stood in opposition to him.
You could vote for Sepp Blatter - or you could shut up.


How can anyone have anything other than absolute faith in an organisation as black & white as that.

Sorry, there is no black & white.

Handshake?

I've said before, I don't like football, I can't stand it, I would ban it it in the blink of an eye - not the actual game, that still brings joy to children in much the same way conkers, skipping, hula-hoops and Off-Ground-Tig do. But anyone still persisting in football beyond the age of about 16 ought to take a look at themselves.

I don't fully subscribe to the idea that it is the Premier League that has ruined football, although I don't believe their solution of throwing shedloads of money at every awkward situation has helped.

By paying astronomical figures to individuals they have removed those individuals from society. Cossetted and pampered, their every whim catered for they seek extra thrills.

Thrills they cannot get by simply being adored by thousands of heterosexual baying men in an enclosed space.

So they play poker for thousands of pounds to while away coach journeys.

They shoot interns with air-rifles.

They text photos of their genitals to girls they want to roast in hotel rooms.

They forget where they have left their massively expensive and gaudy cars and so simply leave them for someone else to find.

They sleep with their brother's wife.

They beat up people in nightclubs.

They drink & drive.

They use old lady prostitutes and give them their autographs.

All the while they endorse everything from videogames, fizzy drinks, chocolates, beer, trainers, biscuits, wristwatches, crisps and aftershave. Be like these men, young people are told, consume what they endorse.

More money piles in, bigger gates go up, fans are kept further afield and the isolated imbecile with the Golden Boots is told that they can do and have whatever they like as long as they can keep putting a small leather ball precisely where they want it to go by just using their feet.


It's nothing new, though. The other week, former Premiership footballing "character", alcoholic and non-friend of Raul Moat, Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne was interviewed on TV by that most intimidating of inquisitors, Piers "Moron" Morgan, about the pressures of being a pampered idiot.

He spoke of his depression, his loneliness, how he wasted his money... but said very little about the time he headbutted his wife and broke her finger.



Odd that.

Like I say, footballers are NOT necessarily very good role models.

But you can't just blame the Premiership, although it should shoulder a lot of the blame. There is a crowd element to address. A mob mentality can make people do incredibly stupid and disgusting things.

Years and years ago rival fans were treated with a kind of chummy respect with a touch of gentle teasing about their affiliation with a certain club.

That turned in the 1970's and 1980's into unreserved pathological violent physical hatred for any team that wasn't yours.

I remember the various "crews" travelling up & down the country, often having tooled-up pitch-battles away from football grounds. As Wakefield was one train stop from Leeds we used to see many a ruck between idiots who associated themselves with Leeds United and travelling fucktards from Millwall, Newcastle, Chelsea and so on.

This disgusting period of national embarrassment would later be repackaged in films, books, TV series and even fashion trends for the next generation of Danny Dyer-aspiring twats.


This was also around the time that John Barnes would be openly called a nigger and have bananas thrown to him.

Of course there is racism in football, there's homophobia and sexism too. There's probably a sex offender or two also - and not just on the pitch....

I don't think it's rampant, but if football crowds are a microcosm of society at large then it is obvious that while consisting largely of good people there will be some of the viler elements of society in there too.

It doesn't have to be tolerated, or excused, or completely fucking ignored by the likes of the President of the governing body of International Football. Some people are trying, and have been for years.



The question is, what do you do when someone as high profile as John Terry - Daddies sauce Dad-Of-The-Year 2009 - is accused of acting like a racist? And what if he is guilty?

Do you ban him? If so for how long? 
Long enough to make him think twice.
I would suggest an entire season.

Do you fine him? If so for how much? 
All fines should be proportionate to the income of the offender, and that goes for crimes outside football. Fining a footballer a couple of hundred pounds or even a couple of thousand pounds is tantamount to asking them for some loose change.
Ten percent of their income should do it.


Whichever way you look at it, there's a massive problem with football.

As an uncle of three nephews I dread to see them getting hooked on the game. Again, not the actual game - which they will enjoy and make some of their lasting friendships - but the adulation, idolisation and acceptance of figures in the National Team who are drug users, serial adulterers, have solicited for sex, been arrested for violent or lewd behaviour and generally acted like a sack of spanners.

Respect isn't given it has to be earned.

Hopefully they'll grow up to have more sense than to choose fiscally solvent but morally bankrupt young men as their role models.



That said, Joey Barton's tweets are brilliant (@Joey7Barton)!!


Oh, and I've been reading and hearing a lot about Mario Balotelli recently.



Now THAT guy is fucking hilarious!



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11.11.11

SCHRODINGER'S TWATS

If a dick falls in the Big Brother house and there is no-one watching, are they still a dick?

This is a question that came to mind the other day when I realised that Big Brother is still on the television.



Admittedly, it's on Channel We Don't Call It Channel Anymore Five - but technically that is still television.

A couple of years ago, back in the Golden Age of Big Brother when the Nation's sweetheart/ gobby moron Jade Goody could be a shouty racist at Bollywood supporting actress Shilpa Shetty, I used to pretend that I didn't watch BB and didn't know any of the names of the contestants in the house.


That was a fib as I used to dip in and out of the show, much like everyone else, and form opinions on the heavily edited versions of objectionable human beings that Channel Four used to beam into my living room on a constant basis, pausing only very briefly to repeat an episode of Friends, in order to give that Geordie voice-over man a toilet break.

I remember once coming home from the pub and watching about five minutes of Night-Cam footage of people sleeping and drunkenly asking myself "Who watches this shit?" - before realising that I was watching this shit.

This year I don't have to pretend not to watch this shit because I haven't.

I watched a bit of the Celebrity Big Brother, a veritable Who's That? of showbiz royalty.

There was the fat man with the egg-box stitched into his belly, the boy from that Waterloo-thing, the predatory slapper from Atomic Sugababes, a man with no shirt, her off that in-flight movie you half watched, the lady MP in a bedsheet, Knight Rider's mum, a fighty gypsy, Jessica Rabbit and the Tintin twins - all hosted by Graham Norton's little brother.

It was all very exciting.


And by "exciting" I mean absolute dogshit.

When they brought in the Civilian Big Brother I could barely tell the difference. The producers were obviously hoping for a full on sex orgy as virtually every contestant was a TOWIE-clone.

And they put Pamela Anderson in there to speed up the libidos.

I'm just surprised they didn't lube everyone up before pushing them through an Anne Summers while Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" was blasted into their blinking faces.

So, did they have a full-on sex orgy? I don't know.
Like I said, I haven't watched it.
And neither have you.

The viewing figures for BB this year are the worst ever, despite heavy pushes in the newspaper's run by Channel We Don't Call It Channel Anymore Five's owner.

There were more people watching the Russian cosmonaut's pretending to go to Mars than are watching this year's Big Brother.


That would make a much better show. Put a group of people through a series of ordeals for over a year and let them believe they are going to Mars, then pull-back to reveal that they are in a St Petersburg car-park.

"Day Foor Hunred an' Sixtee-Ate: Leonid has gurn apeshit with a fyurr extingwisha an' is threatenin' to curt off tha produssa's ears..."

So, tonight is the Grand Final of BB and we will see just who it is that has captured the hearts of about thirteen people.

My money's on Zeppo.

But don't worry, reality/celebrity TV fans, this weekend sees the start of I've Been Told That I Am A Celebrity So See Me On Here, plus The X-Factory is still on (despite having THE GOLDEN RULE broken!!) and there's Strictly Cunts Dancing as well.

All of these wonderful shows that have given us such wonderful memories - Tony Blackburn eating a koala bollock, Anton Du Beke and Nancy Dellolliollio dancing around with all the grace of an epileptic trying to fold-up a deckchair without it triggering an attack and that mouthy fat-bird pushing a wine bottle up herself.

No wonder BAFTA have created a whole new category for these telvisual treats.

And let's not forget, TOWIE already has one of these...


...Proving that you may not be able to polish a turd but (as they do in the show) you can put some sparkles round a bunch of twats.


Sweet Jesus.



I might just hibernate through the winter.

Someone ring Blue Peter to come and put some holes in the top of this box.


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9.11.11

SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE

I got some lovely responses about my throwaway half-term posting There's One In Every Town, which was all about the ancient art of Bod-Watching.

Bod-Watching is much the same as Bird-Watching in that you have to keep a relatively low-profile so that the unsuspecting Bod is unaware that you are admiring their plumage.

However, unlike Bird-Watching, Bod-Watching is a little more dangerous as once you are discovered rather than fly away startled the Bod being watched may come up and glass you in the head with the traditional native cry of "WOTYOOLOOKINAT??"

I cannot stress how important it is to be subtle when Bod-Watching.

Especially these days, because unbeknown to us all the former professional lemon-sucker, transgendered Doctor Who villain and current Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, has helped a variety of new 'types' gain entry into the country which has provided us all with a lot more spotting opportunities.



By relaxing checks at airports across the land, the former Sontaran Warlord has allowed a variety of undesirable caricatures wander around our National Parks, upset our cricket matches, mock our warm beer, disturb our Harvest Festivals and generally destroy all things British... at least that is the idea being presented by the political cartoonists in The Sun and The Daily Mail.



I went on holiday recently and I can't tell you how many bearded Muslim extremists I saw wandering around with their Duty Free explosives and gift-wrapped nuclear warheads on display.

I can't tell you because it didn't happen.

It never has.

The accuracy of political cartoons is always questionable, take The Sun's cartoon above.

Why is someone holding up a card for Osama Bin Laden?

Does The Sun's cartoonist not read The Sun? Even if he can't read The Sun, he must have seen the gory pictures of his bullet-strewn corpse on their front page?

And isn't Carlos The Jackal currently on trial in Paris for murder?

When did this event happen?

Something's very wrong with this picture.

For one thing it is very, very poorly drawn. It's like it has been done by a chimpanzee who only has access to the angriest colours of the spectrum and has been taught by those Court Artists, the ones we still insist on employing in this age of digital media, who can draw neither people nor their surroundings.

I think Court Artists should just be set free to paint the countryside and abstract fruit bowls because they are clearly out of their depth when it comes to capturing the physical proportions and facial characteristics of even the most international recognisable of human beings.


By the way, the people depicted in these official court drawings are supposed to be Abu Hamza, Heather Mills-McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Sir Paul McCartney, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas... 

Though not necessarily in that order...

Mac, on the other hand is an excellent cartoonist. A brilliant draughtsman of the old-school, clearly inspired by the late, great Giles. However, due to his work appearing in the appalling bumrag of News that is The Daily Mail, his subject matter is limited to perpetuating their prescribed daily diet of paranoia, bullshit and hatred.

Such a shame. 


Just look at those beautiful clear lines and how much facial expression is achieved with so few strokes.

What a waste.


The other papers employ their own cartoonists with varying degrees of ability, skill and humour. Steve Bell in The Guardian is probably the most feted with his depictions of Tony Blair, John Major, Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron informing our opinions of their personalities though very surreal touches.


But what's with all the fucking penguins?? I don't get it.

Martin Rowson's work looks like he's been handed the Big Book of Gerald Scarfe to colour in, it always seems a bit muddied and trying too hard for me. It lacks the razor-slash precision of Scarfe but emulates the scatological stylings.



The Independent's Dave Brown is an excellent cartoonist with a masterful style...



However, once you flicked through the pages of the Indy his excellent efforts were immediately undermined by the minimalist piffle that came from the paper's other regular 'cartoonist', Sally Ann Lasson.


Lasson draws as if she's doing it with her other hand for a bet and someone has quickly stolen the page before she's finished.

Either that or they're whipping her sketchpad away from under her in the same way a magician removes a table cloth without upsetting a full dining service on top.

The 'jokes' also appear to be a series of overheard statements that amble out of sight before anything remotely resembling a punchline hoves into view.

I MEAN WHAT THE HELL IS IT SUPPOSED TO BE??

It's so unfunny and dull it makes Fred Bassett look like the fucking Far Side.

Just awful.

Thankfully, she doesn't do it anymore... I think someone from Amnesty has confiscated her pens.

She was quite clearly the worst cartoonist on Fleet Street but by far and away the worst political cartoonist belongs to the worst tabloid in Britain, the Daily Express.

A controversial choice, I know.

That title has long been held by the Daily Mail for it's dogged pursuit of foreigners, benefit fraudsters, liberals, the working classes, homosexuals and gypsies, but for all their bile and scorn they do actually cover news stories.

The Express is simply a catalogue of other Richard Desmond products you may want to try. There's a page for Big Brother, a page for OK! Magazine, another for the new Health Lottery and so on and so forth.

Having opted out of the PCC some years ago, the Express feels no compunction to cover news-stories and so settles for spurious Health rumours (which in turn feed the desire to fund the health service through, I don't know, some kind of lottery?) and knee-jerk campaigns.

Recently the Express started a campaign to preserve and repair broken war memorials and gravestones, asking it's readers and photogenic celebrities like Katherine Jenkins whether they agreed with the fucking obvious, that desecration is a bad thing.

Having created their story, much easier than reporting on actual stories, it is time for their cartoonist to add that final artistic touch with a defining image that encapsulates everything they stand for.



Fucking dreadful.

What should be the Express's mascot The Crusader defending the memory of those who defended our liberties at the cost of their own lives now looks like a palsied man with a spear, threatening some faceless five year olds.

Or are they the Jawas from Star Wars?
I can't tell. That's because it is absolute balls.

The cartoonist, Paul Thomas, draws stiff lumpen bodies, grim sparse landscapes, bleak grey skies and joyless faces... which is understandable if you work for the Express, I suppose.
How can you have a cartoonist working on a paper that cannot even draw that newspaper's logo properly? For fuck's sake. Private Eye have been getting it bang-on for the past 50 years!!

And just in case the subtlety of this image goeas over your head, there's a handy little box in the bottom right hand corner of most of these cartoons that helpfully explain the 'joke'.



Honestly, that is REALLY shit!

Mind you, the Express do still publish the adventures of Rupert Bear - which I am having a LOT of fun with at the moment..... (click HERE to see!!)


So if you're a fan of humour, politics, comment and cartoons, don't get a paper.

Buy The Eye.

If only because Theresa May probably hates it.
Well, she'll hate THIS issue.



(There, that should get me a free subscription....)




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