Thursday, 16 October 2008

People who's opinions are defined by others.

Everybody has a mind, it's a freebie, get born, get a free mind that you can use to make decisions. It's an easy thing to use, every time you need it it's there, helpfully reminding you to remove the hand you've inadvertently laid in a fire because it hurts, giving you the heads up that the feeling of emptiness in your tummy means you're hungry and letting you decide what pleases or disgusts you, all by yourself. So why is it that there are people around who seem to have their opinions dictated to them from the people around them? Is their mind so weak that it can be dominated by  others on every occasion? Is it the case that they have lost the ability to listen to their own opinions? God knows.

Think about it. You listen to some music, your brain will fairly rapidly inform you wether you are a) enjoying it, this is GROO-VEEE, b) it's doing nothing for you, I mean you don't want to vomit or anything, but you wont care if you ever hear it again, or c) this noise is horrible, it makes me want to tear of  my ears and swallow them lest I hear it again and subsequently go out find the men/women who perpetrated this aural crime and kill them, slowly and painfully. This same simple decision process happens a billion times a day to every one of us... It works with people, smells, tastes, sounds, sensations, situations, in fact everything that happens will form some kind of opinion in your mind that lets you know wether you want it to happen again. It happens subconsciously. You don't even have to think about it and it goes on all the time. So, how can you not pay attention to it? How can you override it, suppress it, ignore it or disregard it to the point where your own tastes cease to matter and those of the people around you inform your entire view of the world? You must be entirely stupid or weak in order for it to happen.

So, there are people I know who claim to be fans of The Kings of Leon, Metallica and Beyonce. Somewhat possible, yes but nearly everyone I know who likes the first two may well think the latter is a visual treat (I don't) but would rather die than listen to her, and of course the other way round does too. I have friends who claim to be socialist, yet think that Boris and Cameron are the best next step for the country. I have many friends who display this dichotomy of opinion and they all have one thing in common, the fact that they have very little will power and strongly opinionated friends (of which I am one) who it seems they must follow or die. It's quite hard to cope with these people. I would far rather have someone with a view of their own, wether I agree with it or not, than a namby pamby yes person. A lively disagreement is as much fun as a sharing of the same view with someone as passionate about the subject as you. What isn't fun is the humming agreement of the non opinioned. 

Please people, tell me what you really think, not what you think I want to hear.

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Holiday Inn Shower situation...

The shower in room 233 at the Holiday Inn, Swindon is quite possibly the worst excuse for a dispenser of cleansing liquid that I have ever been unfortunate to utilise in my entire life.

A shower can be a wonderful thing, an invigorating jet of hot water that urges you into wakefulness and leaves you tingling and fresh. My shower at home is a particularly fine example of this, I can safely say that I have never experienced better. What I expect to get in a hotel is not this, but I do expect something sufficient for my sanitary needs. I expect to be able to get clean, to be able to rinse the shampoo from my hair in a reasonable amount of time. This as you may guess is not what I got.

No. What you get if you are unfortunate enough to stay in room 233 at Swindon’s main Holiday Inn (I can’t speak for the express versions, of which there are unaccountably for a provincial town, two) is a trickle. I am deadly serious here. I have been in drizzle with more liquid force than this shower. I would have been better off attempting to rinse the soap from my naked body (don’t get too excited at the thought, I’m not available no matter how alluring you find the thought of a naked me) by stepping out on a misty morning and hoping the water vapour in the air would be effective. The amount of water the shower produced was roughly equivalent to the level of rainfall in the Sahara in the dry season. This, as showers go, was the most thoroughly disappointing experience of my life. I have felt cleaner after playing rugby on a muddy field than I did after I had this excuse for a shower.

What must be said is that the rest of my weekend at the hotel in question has been pretty good, especially considering it was a reunion of my wife’s family, populated almost entirely by people I think I’ve met before but can’t be sure about, let alone remember their names. I had a good time, and I think I might even come again next year.

Just so long as I don’t have to stay in the same room.

Before I go though I'd like to thank the Wonderful wendy in the housekeeping department who found my daughters missing toy and will be sending it back to us. There are some wonderful things about the place after all!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Universal Truths

So the other day those lovely people at Thames Water cut off my supply by accident. This, of course, made a change from them letting it piss out of ill maintained victorian piping, that has never let me down. Of course, they screwed with my water while replacing said reliably ill maintained victorian pipes.

Anyway on to the universal truths...

1. Your water will be cut off as you are about to step into the shower.
2. The moment it is cut off you will need to urinate and, by force of habit, will flush.
3. 10 minutes later you will need a crap, a crap of the kind that no mortal man has ever needed before, the kind that smells of satan's farts and fills the bowl to a depth hitherto unthought. You will not be able to believe that your body could contain this much waste and survive.
4. Thanks to truth 2 you will not be able to flush away truth 3.

Wednesday was NOT a good day.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Money money money....

I would like someone to explain, if it's at all possible, why urban music, hip hop, so called R & B and the like seems to have an obsession with money. For example as I was watching a video by an ex member of the So Solid Crew the other day on breakfast TV, I was struck by the fact that the entire subject of both song and video was how much cash he could wave around. Destiny's Child have done it too, with their hit Miss Independent, some other bunch of fuckwits spoiled the Bill Withers song Lovely Day by changing it to it's a lovely day I just got paid.

Is this what's important? Is cash better than love? Does money mean more than sex? Is it better to buy a shag than to romance your way into a relationship? Wasn't this all done better at the end of the 80's?

It used to be guns, killing and drugs that dominated the modern end of music, and people were worried that this, along with the rude words would turn our children into a nation of psychotic killers. Well, if the Daily Mail is to be believed (which it very rarely is) it has, as every child in the UK wanders around waving a foot long machete before jabbing it, at random, into their classmates on a whim. The thing is, that isn't really true, knife crime is now more publicized rather than being more common. I find it far more scary that the theme of modern music is greed, the I must have it all and flaunt it culture. What effect will this have on our kids, making it acceptable to behave in brazen displays of false opulence.  I shall remain forever unimpressed by the thickness of the gold chain around your neck, the numbers of gaudy diamond rings adorning your stubby fingers, the flashness of your ride or whip leaves me cold and, no matter how fat the wad of cash you wave at me, I shall not admire you.

As I said, this was all done better at the end of the 80's, Harry Enfield's character Loadsamoney released a single all about his money. You know what, he was an entirely dislikable creation too!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008


I think I may have hit on a bit of universal appeal with this subject. I mean, you do get the odd morning person, but I really think they are the exception rather than the rule, and their little  problem is not my concern...

Now, who is responsible for deciding that mornings are when you should get up? I am convinced you are wrong, and since I'm always right, if you would be so kind as to make yourself known, I'll arrange for you to be taken outside and shot, it should be quite painless. 

Think of it this way, when you wake you are invariably groggy, lethargic and still tired, you don't function till you've had some breakfast, a cup or two of coffee and a nice sit down. Some time about 11 am you'll begin to become human and then at about 12 you'll be just about ready to face the day. Still, someone has decided that the universal start time for work is 9 am, nearly everyone in the country has to get to their place of  employment at about the time that truly civilized people are soothed awake by the warmth of sunlight coming in through the window. Where, please, is the rational for this? Where is the sense? The working population are not prepared to function effectively unless they are given the opportunity to ease themselves into the day gently, and the same really goes for their customers, especially if, like me, you work in retail, where people have to travel to get to you.

Have you ever wondered why there are more traffic accidents during the rush hours? Some of you will say; "this guy is dumb! There are more cars ergo there shall be more accidents" . Well, you, dear reader, are so far fucking wrong it's laughable! There are more crashes in the am because the human brain was not meant to function so early, nobody is truly awake enough to be trusted with heavy and potentially deadly machinery at 8.30 of a Tuesday morning, let alone any other day, and in the evening we crash as we are mentally exhausted by the efforts of forcing ourselves awake at an ungodly hour, and maintaining this unnatural awareness for the 8 hour working day. The exhausted and unaware mind should not get involved with traffic, it is simply dangerous.

In any case, I have become convinced, over a number of years, that dawn is something best approached from the other side, as the end to a wonderful night, rather than the start of another day. You truly appreciate the beauty of the world growing light around you and the sun rising when you see it towards the end of your day. Watching the sun rise from Chiswick Bridge or better still Kew Bridge, with Oliver's Island reflected in the Thames is a truly moving and beautiful experience. Or at least it is if you aren't in a foul mood having been forced out of bed by a braying alarm and trussing yourself up in a suit ready to face the working day. And sunsets. Sunsets are a thing to be experienced at the height of your mental accuity, the colors, the light, the ever changing vista is a life affirming experience, best seen while your mind is fully aware and ready to accept it's beauty, not, and I mean NOT, as the first yawn of the evening cracks your face open and threatens to dislocate your jaw.

We waste our lives bound by the convention of a time scheme devised by a fool who had no idea what was best for the human beings he was devising it for... Yes hunting mammoths is probably  best done in daylight when you can see them, and aren't likely to spear your tribesmen in error because there's no streetlight to make them visible. There are no mammoths anymore, so really no need to keep to a stone age timetable. we have street lights, we are civilised, and we really should act like it and get up at a decent hour of the afternoon.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Raise a digit for the new look cock-mobiles

I saw something shocking yesterday, so shocking that I even forgot to take a picture of it!

Those lovely people at Foxton's have redesigned the cockmobile (obviously I'm using the word lovely in relation to Foxton's in the loosest possible sense, they are a bunch of twats, pure and simple).

Perhaps this was in response to my blog, though I doubt it, I think only three people read it, an they all think I'm a bit of a fool. It's far more likely to be in response to the universal derision of the stupid horse racing design they currently sport. I am not the only one who hates it you see.

Anyway, this new design ethos.... How can I describe it? Well Foxton's design department have decided to bring themselves all the way up to about 1989 in modernism terms by producing a digital look. It's hard to describe really, I'll try to find a photo I can add later so you can see it, but if you look at the way the numbers are written across the bottom of your cheque book you'll start getting the idea. The ubiquitous mini has been painted with a series of angular lines of varying thicknesses, just like the writing at the bottom of a cheque, and really rather spookily reminiscent of TRON though in a more muted selection of colors. It isn't as hideous as the old look, but it is just as useful. You'll know immediately that the driver is a bollock crushingly huge twat without having to actually go through the pain of meeting them.

So join me if you will by honoring the digital look by raising a digit of your own in salute to the new design, preferably the middle digit of either hand, I'm sure they will eventually get the message!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Waiting for PS3 games to install...

So I have a PS3. A very cool piece of kit, a better DVD player than anything I have had before, stunning Blu Ray machine, a web browser, media player and a games machine. It does them all superbly (well, perhaps not the web browser bit), but other than the burgeoning adiction to so many classy titles I have one niggle.

It takes forever to install games, or at least seems to, especially when all you really want is some action. There's something to be said for the old days of slap in disc and enjoy, even if the graphics and sound and other abilities weren't available.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Anastasia's face....

At least the current version of it, anyway.

It's been a quiet period in the life of everyones favourite MOR popstrel of late. No singles telling us how she has overcome the nasty side of love and survived, and possibly found love with someone new. No shock horror she's shagging/marring/stealing her bodyguard stories. No, nothing.

Well until she decided to come out as a 40 year old woman. A 40 year old woman who uses botox, and likes it. She thinks it makes her look young.


It makes her look stretched. It makes her look plastic. It makes her look doll like in the least attractive possible manner (i.e. like a second rate Barbie rip off from the Woolworths' Worth It toy range). There is, to be frank, an air of the bride of Wildenstein about her these days, and since she's in such denial, well, it's only a matter of time before she too finds it impossible to blink.

I'm sure this means we'll be getting a new album soon , but really I couldn't bear to read the story in yesterdays Guardian. They had a full page picture of her fizzog that kept causing pangs of revulsion. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Apple announcements...

OK, so I'm a cult member.

I have come to think that it is mean of Mr Jobs and all at Apple computers to design such nice stuff and then reveal it with such fanfare. It has one simple effect, it makes me want to spend a lot of money right now and buy myself all the gorgeous new things.  It's not just the form, oh no, the functionality seems to just jump up and down on everything else too. 

I'll either be very jealous of everyone's new stuff or very poor soon, wait and see!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Pronunciation, it's the key to being understood!

Call me picky, call me a nerd, call me an anally retentive pedant but I hate it when people don't pronounce words correctly. Regional, or even international, accents don't bother me, and I get that what is a bath up north becomes a baaaaath somewhere around Watford, but really some folks really can get my goat.

What I want somebody to tell me is when the diphthong th became optional in the way it's pronounced? I hear people use f, d or v all the time and nobody bats an eyelid (well, other than me) and nobody picks them up on it or corrects them. Well, I hear a few of you say, does it really matter, vere's nofing wrong wiv dat is dere? Well there is! (and not just 'cause I said so!)

Words can become other words, meaning can be lost and confusion can ensue. Imaging being offered a PlayStation Free in Currys only to be asked for three hundred quid when you get to the cash desk. All because somebody chose not to correctly form the word. What kind of car is a free one six i? What is wevver? I understand that you're saying it's raining, but I don't remember this wevver stuff ever cropping up.

Monday, 1 September 2008

CSI Miami, Criminal Scene Investigation's Red Haired Stepchild...

It has been known for me to rather enjoy a bit of CSI, it's one of the shows that the Mrs and I can sit down and watch together, both enjoy, and eagerly await the next episode. However as is so often the case with any show that spawns a franchise, there is one version that stands out like a polar bear in the Sahara in it's unspeakable cackness. Just as Friends (which I hate) had it's Joey (which contrived to achieve the impossible by making Friends look good), just as Happy Days had Joanie Loves Chochie and just as Only Fools and Horses has the cack thing that has Boycie and Marlene in the country (who knows, or gives a flying fuck, what it's called), CSI has it's CSI Miami. Step forward Horatio Caine, and take a bow, for now it is your time to shine.

So what marks the Miami Branch of the franchise out as the steaming mound of shit it so obviously is?

Well, we shall begin with Horatio Caine. Never has there been a character in my memory with a catchpose (think of it as a static visual catchphrase), it is impossible for H, as he is known, to do anything without standing 3/4 on with his head cocked to one side. Look at him as he talks to his colleagues, not looking them in the eye, instead staring diagonally at a random object in the mid distance, watch as he interrogates a suspect looking out the window at a particularly interesting piece of grass, look as he does anything, it's always at a 45 degree angle to the rest of the world. I'm sure having sex with him must be an interesting battle against physical impossibility, as he enters his partner from an incompatibly obtuse angle. He also seems to have an arrestingly annoying way of talking, all disjointed clusters of words, pauses where no pause should be, unless the speaker happens to be a severe asthmatic struggling for breath, yet I don't hear Horatio wheezing. Add to this his habit of using the name of the person with whom he is conversing to start or end every other sentence and we begin to get a picture of what gates me about him. Still this is not all that makes Davis Caruso's acting masterpiece a hateful cock-munch. Oh no. Not at all. Woe betide you if you're a child, for H will patronise you with such totality that it is likely that you will never recover, he will also appear, as if by magic, already in catchpose, from behind other characters and launch into trademark annoying conversation. It's almost as though he's been teleported into place. That is, I'm afraid to say not all that is wrong with him. He has along with all the other twattish behaviour, another odd, and frankly disconcerting habit. Every two sentences H has to remove his glasses and put them back on two sentences later (roughly in time with his use of the coversee's name). I think I may have worked out why though. Mr Caruso has a terrible memory, and cant remember more than twenty words of his lines at a time. The producers realising this struck up the idea of engraving his lines on his ever present glasses, but didn't recon on his long sightedness, which necessitates the removal and replacement of the specs every time he needs a reminder.

Still, that's enough about him, what about the rest of the cast?

Well they're not quite as annoying as H but they still piss me off. We have a medical examiner who insists on having conversations with the bodies. No one knows why, because if she was that good a doctor that the bodies would talk back surely she would be performing life saving surgery every day rather than chopping them up and fiddling around inside looking for the bullet. We have a firearms expert who isn't so bad, until she gets dressed, because she's wearing clothes that are a) too small and b) too hideous to suit her, and, as my wife reliably informs me, has terrible makeup (a feature of all the female characters). We have the generic role CSI, a man who has the haircut of your average soccer hooligan and a jaw clenched so tight that I'm surprised every time his teeth don't burst through his face as they shatter under the immense forces. Suffice it to say, there isn't a single solitary character that you'll like, with the obvious exception of anyone who starts taking pot shots at the team with an automatic weapon.

Aside from the cast there's the methods. The CSI franchise in general has some basis in reality, the investigators follow the evidence to find the criminal, but not in Miami. This is a team with more hunches than Quasimodo's family reunion. It's a case of I think he did it so lets look for the evidence that makes him seem guilty.

It makes it very obvious that it's filmed in Miami though, there's something about the fact that every shot in the entire program is orange from half way up that just tells you it's that special tropical light. Look at these two images, one is obviously London and the other is Miami, it's so obvious...

Or perhaps they resort to stupid manipulation to cover up the fact that the show is almost entirely filmed in L.A. It's just one of those things that really emphasises how bad the series in comparison to the others...

Friday, 15 August 2008, possibly the worst advert in the world?

Isn't it almost precisely the most hateful advertisement to disgrace the world of Commercial Television? 

I know I've ranted in the past about the hateful nature of adverts that don't tell you what they're supposed to be selling. The Moonpig ad is definitely NOT one of them. Oh no.... appearing as a perverse form of punctuation are the words Moonpig  dot com. No, in the land of the poorly drawn pig, there are no commas, no full stops, no exclamation marks, just the words moonpig dot com. Imagine that was normal...

Hello mooonpigdotcom I have come to repossess your sofa moonpigdotcom I moonpigdotcom m sorry moonpigdotcom you really should have kept up with the repayments Mrs Smith moonpigdotcom

What's worse is the fact that the words are not said, they're sung, badly. How hard would conversation be if the world really was as it appears to be in these hideous adverts?

Now let's look at what they're peddling. It would appear that all the crummy greetings cards in the world have been collected together in one place, cards just as they were sold in my local post office when I was about seven, with jokes that weren't particularly funny even then. Then of course, being as this is a dot com company they let you customise the cards. Lucky recipient, he or she gets a shitty card and to top it off, his name is there emblazoned upon the cackness. Even more insulting, they  don't even get a card sent personally by the sender, no, Moonpig send it direct to the recipient, removing all effort on the part of the well wisher, kind of the Internet equivalent of the boss getting his secretary to buy all the presents for his family. Thankfully I've never been the recipient of a moonpig card, so I can't be drawn on the quality of the printing, but really I suspect that it's the equivalent of setting your lexmark to draft mode an printing it on a sheet of 80gsm that you fold up roughly square before bunging it in an envelope that you've tucked the flap inside.

The advert works well enough, you see the product, you certainly do know what the name of the company is so it's all boxes ticked in Alan Sugar's book of advertising. Pity it's such a fucking stupid name, I mean what in the name of all things good and holy does moonpig have to do with greetings cards? You could say what the hell does Currys have to do with electrical goods, but there was once a Mr Curry, who flogged the great and good some bicycles and then the odd radio. Is someone going to tell me that Mr Moonpig and his wife Millicent have started a company? And no, I haven't heard of the Moonpigs of Nether Wallop, and neither have you. I just looked the name up on Ancestry dot com, and there weren't any. So ner! Worse still, or possibly not worse, but at least just as bad as the name is the logo. Look at it there as it grins at you, the head of a happy pig pickled in a goldfish bowl sat next to the chalk outline of a recently murdered half eaten biscuit, and then drawn by an inept blind man with rudimentary  computer skills using a ZX-81.

Not since the last time an advert pissed me off this much has an advert pissed me off this much, and I can't see it being equalled till the next time I get annoyed by crummy advertising. I'll be glad to see the back of it!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Can I Not get a witness?

I had some visitors at my workplace this week, unfortunately I was a little too busy doing my work to get the opportunity that I so desperately craved to tell them to fuck off. Still they did leave me a couple of useful leaflets that I thought I could share with you... while I take the piss just a little bit.

Hopefully this will come out big enough for you to see some of the things that have annoyed me, if not, well you'll just have to trust me. But first a little background...

According to the witness (possibly witless, not sure), god is getting just a little bit peeved with all of us disobeying his rules, you know celebrating Christmas, having blood transfusions, not bothering people in their homes to join some hokey hokum cult and the like, and he's going to bring the world to an end, and make it all so lovely for all the witnesses while the rest of us burn in hell. So let's have a look at these leaflets as they display their vision of a Witless nirvana... Look at the smiling faces, nobody is unhappy, oh no, but look closer, they are all clearly insane. These my friends are the smiles of the clinically psychotic, the kind of folks who grin as they dance through the blood and wrap themselves in the entrails of their latest victims. These people scare me. Look also as children in the left hand picture stroke lions and feed unlikely bunches of blue flowers to carnivorous bears, clearly the artist has captured the moment before the tranquilizers wear off and the animals turn and rip the arms of the foolish from their sockets, just as the fools in question grin at their luck at living in a world where lions are temporarily sedated just so god's chosen ones can pet them. Of course all the willing victims will die, even if they're saved by the other psychos, because nothing helps a person who's lost a lot of blood as their arm is currently wedged in the digestive tract of a sleepy lion than a blood transfusion, which of course is banned by the god who let them pat the wild predator. I think he has a bit of an odd sense of humor that god chap... 

Then look at the right hand image, there's something wrong there. The Jehovah's witnesses are not a sect known for their ostentatious fashion sense (Prince excepted), but someone told the artist that there was a little product called 'Hair Moose' that women like to use. I think he misinterpreted the concept... just a little. I mean no-one wears an actual ^moose^on their head, do they?

Friday, 25 July 2008

The worst film ever?

Normally when I go to the cinema I enjoy myself. I've seen some pretty rotten films in my time. I even saw the Michael Jackson movie, Moonwalker at Hammersmith way back in 1988 and that has stood head and shoulders above the rest on a scale of cackness.

Well yesterday Moonwalker was removed from it's place of dishonour, one that it had held for 20 years, because I went to the cinema. What film could have been bad enough that I can say the best fun I had in the theatre were my futile attempts to remove the flake of popcorn that had become indelibly welded to the roof of my mouth? Mama Mia, that's what. 

In all honesty this was never going to be my favourite film, I have generally had a strong dislike for films adapted from stage shows, Chicago for example was rotten, The Phantom of the Opera was almost as bad, but I never paid to watch those, other than through my Sky subscription, and that was going to be paid anyway. I didn't pay this time either (thank god), but someone did, and really as far as I'm concerned it was BAD value for money.

Why is it so bad? Well the songs are horribly mangled by the sound department. ABBA songs have a lot going on musically, but whoever produced them made sure it wasn't overpowering, and every part of the complicated tapestry was clearly audible. Well in the film someone decided that louder was better, and everything gets turned up to the point that you can't hear anything but a wall of obnoxious noise, and even to the extent that you can hardly hear the words, not that that really matters, everyone knows the words. Even the words that Pierce Brosnan sings, if singing it can be called, because he sounds like a strangled cat, slowed down to make it intelligible.

Now the plot. Oh my freaking god, it's awful, maybe it works on stage, but in a film? Everything is made so obvious that if you can't spot what's coming up there's something very wrong with you. Oh there are plenty of things that are meant to be surprises, but when they give you clues the size of Zeppelin's, there's no surprise, there's only a horrendous wait until the obvious (and very trite) actually occurs. I have honestly never had to sit through a film where I new what was happening quite so far ahead and with such certainty. Oh, and there's a plot twist too, but it's such a twist that I could have told you it was going to happen from the moment James Bond appeared. I won't spoil it, I'll let you find out what happens half an hour into the film.

And at the end, well I WAS happy, but not for the reason the film maker expects the god-damned film was over, and I will never have to see it again. My wife, and quite possibly my Mother-in-Law will tell you that I went determined to dislike the whole experience. I didn't. I didn't have high hopes, but I went with my mind as open as I could manage, I don't dislike ABBA's music, I in-fact have a sneaking admiration for the harmonies and production even if it's not my favourite. Still this film has soured me to the whole situation, if I never have to hear dancing queen again, I'll be glad, but for some reason my wife and daughter enjoyed it so I think any respite I have will be shorter lived than I deserve.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Four Breasted women....

I am a man. I like, no I adore boobies, they are the best thing since whatever was there before boobies, and since I'm no where near old enough to remember, they are the best things ever. Now women with two extra boobies would be a great thing, all the more to play with and all the more fun to be had, I'd kind of like it.

Still there are a group of women, and I saw a load of them out shopping yesterday, who have chosen to have the appearance of four boobs and it isn't a good thing. What do I mean? Me who likes boobies so much that he would love a pair of his own in a box that he could play with whenever he wanted (marriage, he was disappointed to find, was not boobies on tap, he had to have conversations, tidy up and other things not as much fun as boobies). Well all these women seemed to be trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot as the expression goes. More accurately they were trying to fit a gallon into a thimble, wearing a bra almost 14 sizes too small. Now a bra slightly too small can be a good thing visually, just one cup size down will give a wonderful effect, one that I personally enjoy hugely, but when you try to fit a J into a B cup all kinds of things go wrong. All that excess boob-flesh that you haven't managed to shoe-horn into the microscopic  scrap of material you believe sufficient to contain your bust spills out the top and rests there like a misshapen globule of uck. These are not the extra boobs I want, these are heinous crimes against boobdom. 

Perhaps, once upon a very long time ago you fit into a nice slinky pice of La Perla Lingerie, but now you don't, the seventeen feral kids that are gathered round your distended ankles in a swarm of snot, dummys and sagging pampers meant that you wove goodbye to your youthful figure along with your concept of birth control. Of course these women are always mothers, mothers of the worst kind, who's parenting skills are as lax as their self control in the face of sexual advances. They also  all have tattoos of the kind that may seem dangerous and a little alluring on a sexy woman, but in this case serve to mark them out as part of the tribe of women wrapped up in denial of their changing body, and under the impression that they are still a size 10. Of course they will also wear the finest jewelry that is available from Elizabeth Duke at Argos, their necks hung with hideous articulated clowns, their fat fingers adorned with sovereign rings and nine carat gold and circlets with MUM picked out in finest cubic zirconia and their ears hung with either hoops so big they could serve as the perch for a large parrot or the paper thin versions of the horrid things sported by Lilly Allen.

There seem to be a lot of these women, stomach turning in their hideousness, in the food courts of shopping centres across the UK. It really can put me off my lunch.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

The Chav Shoe Travesty....

What is it with chavs? They go around in their silly uniforms of designer knock off sportswear, being angry and dumb, trying to appear hard and dangerous and really coming across as a bunch of dislikable saddos.

I saw some today walking down to blockbusters to return some games (I was returning the games, these were the kind of chavs who would steal the box to look like they own the game). Of course these nasty idiots were dressed in the summer uniform, the three quarter length adidas trousers, the colourful Ralph Lauren/Hackett polo shirts, and some semi expensive trainers. They all looked like a pressed out production line set of fuckwits. I guess I hate chavs, but that is obvious, we all do, and thats why I'm not ranting about chavs in general.

No, it was the fact that one of these chavs had made an attempt to mark himself as an individual, which in itself shows that there is some hope for the poor little twat, not much though, because of the way he tried to do it. For some reason he had chosen to wear mismatched shoes, the same model yes, but one black, one white. He looked, in a word, stupid. In more than word he looked like the dumbest fuck ever to have disgrace the surface of the earth by walking on it in his stupid velcro fastened, remedial looking, mismatched tennis shoes. Yes they were the type of shoes that look like they have one sole built up on both feet, as if they are owned by someone too stupid to deal with actual laces. So this fool had choses some ugly shoes, and then chosen to wear them in a mismatched pair. Why? Perhaps he went to two different shops to steal the display ones, but they didn't have matching ones, and walking round in the one he had stolen already was starting to hurt, so he took what he could get. Perhaps he's blind and his mates didn't have the heart to tell him what a dick he looked. Perhaps he's just dumb. I happen to think the last one's most likely, how about you? I cannot explain in words how dumb this guy looked. Yet he was walking along like there was nobody cooler on the planet. Well if you look at him on a scale of cool with nuclear explosions at one end and outer space at the other, he'd be well and truly up there with the nukes. 

Thursday, 17 July 2008

What makes my name so very hard for other people?

Well, as I was browsing around on facebook earlier I discovered a group called something along the lines of "People who always have to spell their name for others". On this group I made a wall post describing my frustrations, and I thought it deserved to come here too... 

So here it is, fleshed out a little as, as I am thinking about it, the bile is beginning to rise...

I have what I consider to be a relatively simple name to spell, and also a relatively simple name to pronounce. I'm not talking about my first name, oh no, three letters, nice and simple, only one alternative spelling which I'm generally forgiving of when people use it. It's my surname, one that is not, particularly, uncommon, and certainly one that is well known in the Celtic corners of the British Isles. McHugh, a good solid Scottish/Irish name (and the one I share with the spitting git who was removed from big brother), but one that has unfortunately left me surprised and shocked whenever anyone spells it correctly.

When people hear my name it's always getting spelt wrong, McHue, McQue, McQueue, McCue, McKew and myriad variances of the same with a prosthetic a between the M and c. So I find myself spelling it for them, sounding out the letters one by one, including how to capitalise correctly as the requester of my name takes it down like a five year old learning to write, but not even that precludes errors. Some people seem to have it so entrenched in their minds that my name is not what I say it is that I have seen Mchuegee or McHuge being written down as I spell it. Worse still I am asked far too often as I am spelling it, "Are you sure?" as if I am the idiot, the fool and the imbecile who can't spell my simple name, which of course I frigging can, I've only had it for 33 years and have been spelling it correctly for at least 30. Or at the end of spelling it the writer says, "Ah, McHugh, I see" with the emphasis on the second syllable as if I led them up the garden path by being unable to, or willfully obtuse in the manner of my name's pronunciation, which of course I wasn't, I didn't fucking mumble, I said it the right way, it's not hard I've been doing it for years. Of course I have noticed as I am typing this that the automatic spell checker has decided to mark nearly every misspelling as correct, and the actual name as wrong, what am I to do when even the computers are out to get me.

When people read it far too many of them decide to pronounce it as though they are clearing their throat, or possibly being sick. "Mr McHcgch, the doctor will see you now" or,"Ah, Mr McHueeeegggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, do come in, I apologise for the fact I have just projectile vomited on you, you see it's your name's fault."

Let's get this straight folks, I know how to spell my name, I realise that you may not, so ask for help if you must. I also find it hard to link my name with the varied sounds of a cat coughing up a stubborn hair ball with my name, please try to pronounce it in a manner approximating a word, it's not hard. If you can manage to do these things you and I will get along a lot better...

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV...

Why is this game so good? Why must it dominate my life now that I have a week off work? Why must it make me stay up 'til 2 am every night?

I took this fortnight off so I could rest, it's been a while since I had some time away from the day job, so I could concentrate on rebuilding the reserves of energy that it takes me to get through a day of dealing with customers. I need to rest, I need to sleep, I need to get various things done that the wife has requested of me so I can live a short term nag free existence (it's my fault, I'll admit I should have done it a long time ago). I had a good idea that between the work and the sleeping I could play some games, so I hired GTA from blockbusters.

The damn thing has possessed me. I'm beholden to the multifarious charms of serial killing, car theft, drug dealing and casual sex. The awesome power of the game has me in it's grasp, becoming a part of the living breathing city that appears on my TV when I fire up the playstation, it's beautiful and brutal, and I think I may be in love.

What would be better if Alex would actually respond to my requests for a bit of online japery..... that's what really peeves me!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

A Shining Example of how NOT to do it....

At last a chance to combine several of my previous rants into one kind of combo super rant...

The thing that is known as Lisa on big brother stands out to me as a shining example of the things I have ranted about in some of my prior rants. In the first place she has committed the crime that is inappropriate lipstick. The ugly smear of brown (why do these women always go with shit brown for a lip colour) that mars her face extends a good centimeter outside her actual lips, which quite frankly are big enough as it stands, and is then coated with a layer of lip-gloss so thick that they gain the appearance of plastic, like false lips available from your local joke shop. Rather hideous, especially when you combine it with the other heinous makeup errors which she inflicts on her face, and therefore on anyone who has to look at her. 

Combine this with her neediness, yes I'm sure if she has a myspace page (I really should check but can't be arsed) that it features a self portrait taken with a crappy camera phone and that she has 3000 equally needy friends. How do I surmise this? Well look at her, watch her inability to cause anyone offense, watch her cook, clean and subjugate herself to the laziness of others so that they may perhaps like her slightly more than a streptococcus  bacterium infection, watch her dress like a woman 30 years younger than she is in order to make gullible men fancy her or at least look at her artificially enhanced udders, and finally look at her, she's on Big Brother for goodness sakes, no-one without an all consuming need for the approval of others EVER signs up to go on this programme.

Yes she's on big brother, little need be said, other than she's not the nutter, she's the sad case needy one.

Finally this woman has chosen to make herself appear as if she is a pre-op trans-sexual wrestler, firstly through bodybuilding in the past which has given her body the shape of a man, all shoulders and upper body strength. Please note, there is nothing less likely to make a woman attractive than bodybuilding, fitness is good, firmness and toned-ness are good, full on muscles and shoulders that look like you have had American football padding installed surgically are not. The next way she has made herself appear like a man in woman's clothing is exactly that, she has chosen the kind of women's clothing normally found on 17 year old nubile clubbers or in dance music videos, not forty plus wrestlers. In fact she has made such a good job of looking like a bloke I keep looking to see if I can spot her dick under her overly tight clothing.

I'll be glad when she's voted off into her future of 40+ men's magazine modelling...

Friday, 11 July 2008

Repeats repeats re-bloody-peats...

Channel 4, a station that I generally enjoy, has it's foibles, over long idents, a range of programs so desperate to shock to achieve viewing figures, and incessant repeats of the most popular comedy programs they show. I wonder which one is annoying me now, hmm, let me just read the title... yup... it's the repeats!

This morning I am watching Frasier, I program I rather enjoy. I am being treated to the first two episodes ever. Yesterday morning I watched Frasier, I quite enjoyed it yesterday too. Yesterday I watched the last EVER episode (not for the first time!). It was quite sad and touching watching that last episode, seeing the culmination of stories begun so long ago, saying goodbye to characters you have come to know almost as friends. I wouldn't have found it so sad and touching if I had known that the very next day, at the very same time, it would all begin again. 

The same thing happens with Friends, a comedy of which I am quite a lot less fond, and one which I find myself believing is constantly on the TV, seemingly always on C4 or one of it's many offshoots. Whenever I turn on C4, C4+1, More 4, More 4 +1, E4 or any of the other Channel four stations, their  plus one/two/twenty seven and a bit variants there seems to be an episode of friends on or just about to come on or just finished.

Are Channel 4  now so creatively bankrupt that they can't find something new to show? I doubt it, they're still transmitting some great new shows. Are the advertising revenues from Friends/Frasier/Raymond et al so huge that they must be shown regularly to keep the channel solvent? I doubt it again, the adverts they are interrupted by are of the lowest cost possible, all the insurance, price comparison or personal injury lawyer dross that fills daytime TV, and in any case if the revenues were so great the shows would be constantly on prime time. Is there such public demand that the channel must show them or be beaten down under the weight of letters of complaint and ofcom inspectors? Nope, we have all seen them far to fucking many times to really care. Unless you're odd, and think that friends is the greatest thing that has happened to comedy (there are, strange as it may seem, people who believe this, and these people should be forced to watch Fawlty Towers until such time as they understand).

No, we are subjected to these shows over and over and over again because Channel 4 can't be bothered to think about what we want to watch, they are suffering a crisis of confidence, unsure whether they can get away with upsetting the apple cart and showing say Raymond after big brother instead of Frasier, or better still showing us something we haven't seen before. People wonder why the channel isn't making a profit, whether it needs more government funding, and don't realise that it's because no one really watches it because we have all seen it before, often yesterday, and can't be arsed to press the 4 button on the remote because we know we won't be stimulated by anything new. 

Quite, quite sad really. 

Thursday, 10 July 2008

The Gran Turismo penalty system...

Those who know me know I'm a gamer, not super-duper hardcore, but pretty serious all the same. One of my favourite games is Gran Turismo, since the very first one on PS1 I've bought them all, and loved every minute of full on racing action. 

The thing is that, with this latest generation, there is now a niggle that is driving me batty. Instead of your car becoming damaged through collisions, or receiving a drive through when you gain advantage from a shortcut off the circuit proper, the game makers have chosen to implement a penalty restricting your engine power for a short while after an indiscretion. Fair enough say I, punish me for my errors.

The thing is that some of the decisions the computer takes are unfair. The system, it seems, is broken. Why should I be punished when I am on the racing line and one of my opponents rams me? Why should I suffer when I am rammed off the track onto the grass with a shortcut penalty? Why should I receive a collision penalty when a car has spun off into my path? These decisions are made worse by the fact that the computer fails to punish itself for errors on the part of AI cars.

Don't get me wrong, this is still, by a very long way, the best driving game I have ever played, but this just serves to make the problems all the more galling...

Monday, 7 July 2008

While we're talking about the bits between the programmes...

What is with all the adverts that have nothing to do with the product they're advertising? You must know what I mean, a beautifully shot/directed piece of film comes on leaving you with no idea what it's on about until the very end when the product is revealed. Of course, this carries with it a problem, generally you end up at the end of it remembering the advert but not the product.

This all started with, as I remember it, the cadburys gorilla advert. Of course, you'll be saying, you remember the product, the advert worked. Well I do remember the advert, but only because it gets discussed on the TV, internet and in the press all the time as a shining example of how to do advertising, and every time it's mentioned it is called the Cadburys Gorilla Advert, I remember the brand because every time someone mentions the advert they mention the brand. For those of you lucky enough to escape it it features a man in an ape suit miming to the drum solo from Phil Collins hit record In the air tonight, if anyone can tell me what that has to do with chocolate, please do go ahead.

The dubious success of this advert has inspired successors, all trying to usurp the reign of the gorilla king. There is the motor racing airport vehicles (also cadbury, I made a note at the end), various car adverts (one from volvo sticks in the mind, but only because you can catch a glimpse of the car every so often) and most recently one for Smirnoff Vodka (again I took notes). Seemingly the advert is telling us that we should strip the english cannel of all the detritus of the second world war, it looks like an environmentalist pitch, but no, it's to tell us how filtered the vodka is.

All these adverts are terribly annoying, they don't give you any real information, they exist just to serve the egos of the art director. Sir Allan had it right in the Apprentice, it matters not how beautiful or creative the advert is if it doesn't tell you simply and clearly what the product is. These ones would earn the responsible team a quick and nasty 'You're Fired'. 

See how bad these ad's are? I'm agreeing with the apprentice!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Channel 4 idents...

Yup, I hate the terribly annoying bits that the channel that sits so nicely between itv and Channel 5 use to remind us of which channel we are watching. The fact that the channel sits between itv, which everyone I know over the age of 20 calls three and the channel so usefully named 5, which kind of gives the game away, seems to have passed them by may be odd, but it stands as true.

These idents take two forms, both annoying, but let us first take the lesser of two evils, the ones I shall call the logo reveals. In these an executive, director or art department who is/are entirely too clever for their own good has found a way to hide the logo in an everyday sight until some kind of a pan/camera move makes the disparate parts come together into the logo we know and love. I think these are quite good really but they have one glaring flaw, they go on for what can, at times, seem like weeks. Oh it's all very good the first time you see it, but the second time, well you know what's coming and having to wait half your lifespan to see the end result gets kind of wearing.

The second, and worse kind, is based on the superstars of channel 4 answering a series of inane questions... their first car, how they'd do things differently and other such meaningless bon mots. Now these I liked at first, a quick insight into how the mind of the person you enjoy watching works. That was then, this is now. Of course there are some clever people at work over at 4 towers, and those people thought they could make the idents funny. In this attempt at humor they thought that it would be a good idea to extend one of the interviews. Well, it wasn't. We get to see the man who will forever be Jim Robinson from neighbours identified as such (like we needed reminding), we get to see the man who stars in spaced launched on a catapult and worst of all we get to see Jamie Oliver play table tennis while making spurious claims to his ability. Now everyone taking part in these has the good grace to look mildly embarrassed by taking part in these shenanigans with one exception, Mr Oliver please step forward. No, our Jamie, saviour of school dinners, hallowed be his expanding waistline, looks really into his, as if he thinks it's genuinely amusing. Well it's not, Jamie's acting is as good as my ballroom dancing, which is shit, it's as believable as, well, I don't think anything is that unbelievable, so, it's as believable as Jamie Oliver's acting, it's painful, and quite frankly should come with a government health warning. 

I really can't get over how much I could do without seeing these things again...

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Cockmobiles, courtesy of Foxtons...

They are the cars you see everywhere, or at least, everywhere I go. A perfectly normal mini lies beneath a coat of paint that marks the driver out as a complete cock, a complete cock who works for a company of complete cocks.

The foxton’s mobiles are like bacteria floating around in the arteries that are London’s roads, and they are a sight that are just as welcome. They pootle around screaming ‘My occupant is an estate agent, and what’s more, he doesn’t mind you knowing, doesn’t that just make him the biggest cock you’ve ever seen?’. I mean no-one really likes estate agents, they are kind of necessary, but dislikable all the same, what’s more Foxton’s have had some rather well publicised bad practices, so why would someone allow their company car to mark themselves out as a dislikable prick working for a company that, in business terms, force feeds small children in order to make a human foie gras from their livers.

It’s even worse that the cars have been decorated in a way that is as awful as it is, painted up as some sad case directors vision of horse racing colours. Yup, thats right, the man in charge of Foxton’s corporate image thinks that Horse Racing, the so called sport of Kings, is an ideal marriage for the image of the company. Let’s think about this, a so called sport where very rich people use expensive things (the horses) to trick the poor (the betting public) into parting with their money. Hold on, wait a minute, isn’t that just what Foxtons do with their customers? Offering them more than they can actually produce in order to part them from their cash? Why, I think it is!

The cars are ugly, with a stupid name printed on the back, spoiling what is quite a nice car. It’s like painting a dilating anus with a turd dangling from the sphincter on the bonnet of your ferrari. They are driven by fools who have the idea that working for Foxtons is a good thing and don’t mind shouting about it. It’s all quite nasty really.

Social networking sad cases...

Some people have a strange idea of how to present themselves on a social networking website. We’ve all seen them on MySpace, Facebook or BeBo with their profile picture of a self portrait taken, normally with a cameraphone, in such a way as to a) look crap, b) be very obvious it’s a self portrait, c) make them look like they have no friends. These pictures always feature poor exposure, poor composition and the distinct impression that one arm is extended.

The purpose of social networking is to network, make new friends and socialize. The best way of making new friends is to seem popular in the first place, so if we take point c as being true, their attempts at social networking should be as successful as trying to throw ping pong balls at the moon. The thing is that these people are always needy and will add anything that asks them, so they end up with three thousand ‘friends’ that they have nothing to do with. Then, of course, since they have three thousand ‘friends’ they believe they are, in fact, popular. I’m sorry to break it to you folks, but you’re not, not even slightly, because all three thousand of your friends are the same kind of needy twerps as you, and have their own three thousand self portraited needy friends who have their own three thousand..oh well you get the picture.
Realize, please, folks, that these pictures make you look stupid, sad and lonely. It can’t be hard to find a picture of you that someone else took, or if that isn’t possible a picture of someone who looks like you.

There is, however, one thing worse than having a shitty picture that you took of yourself, and that is of course having no picture at all. That just makes you look like you’re filled with such self loathing that you can’t find a picture of you that can be photoshopped into some form that pleases you, now that is sad...

I may even, if I can be bothered, go find a few examples of these pictures, or even the lack of pictures...

Monday, 30 June 2008

Whine whine whine....

Truculent children, between the ages of, say, two and six, will whine. Generally when they don't get what they want, when they're tired, when they're hungry and when they're bored. There is little more annoying in the world of sound than that noise, the constant high pitched moan at exactly the right frequency to cut through all other noise and plant itself at the centre of the annoyance lobe of my cranium. This isn't what I hate though...

Oh no. It's far worse when a supposed adult does exactly the same thing. Adults shouldn't whine, they should have found out that it doesn't work a very long time ago, however due to poor parenting or utter stupidity the message doesn't sink in. There is nothing less likely to persuade me to do what you want than to whine out the word please repeatedly. In fact rather than persuade me it's likely to make me turn around and tell you to shot the fuck up and piss off. I f you do this then you have earned my everlasting hate. 

Worse still is when you choose to use your pathetic whining as your only tool of persuasion. When you ask for something and are rejected, try reasoning, try bargaining, try persuasion, but please, for the sake of all that is good and holy in this world don't go straight from asking to whining, in fact, don't go to whining at all, but if you must, at least try something else first. Leaping from from asking to whining marks you as the worst kind of perpetual child, stuck not in the pleasure of games and fun, but rather in the worst moments of adult annoying patheticism. Children do this because their minds are not developed to a stage where they can use the tools available to the adult world, the coercion, bargaining and persuasion that move the world along.

Even worse is when you choose to sulk when you don't get your way. There are truly no words to describe what a pathetic creature you have chosen to make yourself. In fact I'll leave some space here just so I can seethe...

If the person that inspired this blog ever reads it, and realises that they inspired it, I hope they may well go off and have a lovely sulk, all by themselves. Whining is bad, so a sulk can only be what they deserve.... the bloody annoying creature that they are. 

Saturday, 28 June 2008

The latest idiot to be chucked out of Big Brother...

...has just garuanteed my everlasting contempt. 

Thanks to the BBC website I have just discovered that this year's gay stereotype shares my surname. He's also the kind of nasty piece of work who spits in the face of a fellow human (though I may be elevating Dennis to the level of humanity incorrectly). People who act this way are scum, and he's tarring my name with his brush. Of course, it doesn't help that he chose to be holier than thou in the aftermath, claiming he had his dignity in-tact. I'm sorry, but you left most of your dignity at the door when you auditioned for big brother, and it went the same way as your integrity when you chose to behave in such a disgusting manner. 

Environmentalists who don't get it...

Now please don't get me wrong, if the world is getting warmer, and not in a good way, we are in the shit, and I'm all for doing everything I can to stop it. I'll recycle, I'll use public transport (however uncomfortable it is) and generally I'll behave in a way that is better for the world. 

Environmentalists will preach to you about this and that and often what they say is all well and good, but there is an unfortunate subspecies. These environmentalists (emphasis on the mental) are preachier and more holier than thou than the average, and yet, for all their good intentions, they screw it up. The most minor of these inflections is in the buying of a Toyota Prius. These things shout about their owners environmental credentials. They say, "I am better than you, my car uses less fuel". Problem is that those cars have a carbon footprint larger than that of the average car purely from their manufacture, how green is that? Well using complimentary colour theory, well I think it's red. What's more, if Top Gear is to be believed, if you drive it in a less than entirely gently way it's less economical fuel wise than an M3 driven at the same speed, I don't care how unscientific the experiment was, it still says something...

There is another breed, even more mental, as seen on a recent episode of Grand Designs. These people built an entirely environmentally friendly house, so environmentally friendly that they sunk it into a cliff chopping out a chunk of the natural environment in the process. They lit great chunks of this house using natural sunlight, problem being, this is Britain, where it isn't particularly sunny for a lot of the time, meaning that the house was largely bathed in a dim gloom, wholly and entirely unpleasant to live in, but these people in their oblivious piety would not make any concessions to make their lives more livable, or even admit, to a mildly bewildered Kevin, that it could possibly be less than nice experience. Finally these people chose to drive around in an ancient and particularly smoking 2CV, and while one of these is better than a Prius for the environment, it's still toddling around in an excessive cloud of it's own greenhouse gasses that wouldn't be there if they bought a car that was made since the last ice age.

As I said, its up to all of us to do what we can to keep our planet from disaster, wether or not global warming is fact (I have friends who would very convincingly dispute it's reality, who just happen to be rocket scientists). It's also good to do what you can to make others do what they can. It's not good to become an evangelist, however, if all you're going to do is screw it up with your own idiotic choices, because quite frankly I'm less than likely to do anything you suggest. 

Friday, 27 June 2008

Modern British Films...

It seems these days that just about every British film that gets a release in general cinemas marks the resurgence of the British film industry, they will all be massive hits, all over the world, and will mean a lot to our economy. Problem is, just about every one of them is crap, and most especially the comedies. Oh there have been exceptions, Lock Stock and Snatch were great as was Borat, and the films of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are peerless but can the same be said of the rest of them?

Lets go back to when this phenomenon began, around the time of Four Weddings and a Funeral. That was an OK film, definitely worth a watch, though probably not two. It was huge commercial success too, and may well be responsible for the British film industry's survival as a commercial entity. But what did it spawn? Far too many films featuring one dimensional characters. Far too many films with poor scripting. Far too many films that are no good at all. Let us take Billy Elliott, a boy who would be a dancer, a film I didn't want to go near and far too northern for it's own good. Let us take that crap film where half the cast of Auf Wheidersehen Pet become strippers rather than go on the dole, it's name escapes me, thank fuck, but I don't get why anyone went to see it, it's supposed to be emotional and funny, but I have no sympathy for the characters, so much so that I didn't make it through the film. Let us take every film in which Hugh Grant has played the hapless upper class toff with floppy hair and a self depreciating demeanor, Hugh can do so much more with Rom Com, but for a while there, did we know? 

I suppose these films aren't as awful as some of the dross foisted upon us by Hollywood. Nope, but they are nothing like as good as the average Hollywood film, and not a single one of them matches the best stuff from California. Hollywood does every single genre so much better. Action, Sci Fi, Romance and Drama. I would rather watch Spiderman 3 (which sucked) than Love Actually. I would rather watch Showgirls (with or without Elizabeth Berkley's boobs which were the films sole redeeming feature) than Calendar Girls. Hollywood maybe churning out film after film, many with very little real merit, but so many of them beat our pitiful output into a bruised and bloody mess, and more to the point the American film industry is just that, an industry, it makes a profit, more than can be said for Britain's.

What makes me sadder is that we have so much talent over here, the best effects guys, the best actors, the best of so much, but it's all being used by the Americans, because we have neither the gumption or insight to use this talent for ourselves. British films could be great, but they aren't. 

Thursday, 26 June 2008

I said it was coming....

Yup, I said I would rant about the stupid little red LED display on bus stops, and now it's here.

As a convenience TFL put a little display on many bus stops in London, mainly on the ones where they are less likely to be vandalised. These displays have two purposes. Firstly they are intended to inform you of the expected wait time for he arrival of your bus. Secondly, they are designed with the purposes of pissing me off. 

It is, of course, by doing the former, that they achieve the latter. The display lights up with a list of busses and the time until they arrive. Fair enough you say to yourself, I have to wait 3 minutes for the 33 to arrive I'll wait. Where it gets frustrating is when you realise that whoever determines the time display has an entirely different concept of time to the rest of the world. Three minutes could be 15, or it could mean that the bus has already left. It will tell you that the bus is due for five minutes when before it was due it was going to arrive in two. It in fact tells you nothing, it purports to oh yes, it shows information that has nothing to do with reality, and that is just no good.

It's almost better when it has failed entirely, and just says countdown and nothing else. At least that way it's not telling you anything wrong, it won't be telling you fibs. I hate it, mainly because every time I see the figures on there I believe them, I use it to decide if I'll wait for the bus, and when I do, it's invariably the wrong decision.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Jehovas Witnesses...

Don't get me wrong, I'm as religious as the next man (so long as he's on the borders between agnosticism and atheism too), but there's something wrong with the way these people think. 

Yes, before you get too surprised I was stopped on my way to work by one of the folks sent out to brainwash the unwary, hence the rant, I don't do these things randomly you know.

Anyway, I have several problems with them. First of which is that you cant tell them apart from your average slightly geeky person. With full on budists, krishna devotees, jews or any other religious group turn up at your door, or stop you on the street you can spot them. Either sartorially or in the way they wear their hair they have chosen to mark themselves as different from the common herd. It allows you to make a choice in weather you speak to them or spurn their advances. This is a good thing. The only distinguishing mark of a Jehovas Witness is the fact that they  have smeared across their waxy face a smile not too dissimilar to that on the Mona-Lisa, entirely disconnected from the world around them, from the rest of their face and from the look of them they are soon to be  assimilated back to the mother ship. 

The next issue is with the fact that they think I need saving. Let me tell you, I need saving when I'm drowning, when my heart stops or if nuclear war begins, and rather than a Jehovas Witness I'd rather see a life guard, cardiac surgeon/paramedic or open nuclear bunker respectively. I don't see what they are going to do for me.

Thirdly, and this is the bit that gets me most is that they believe that everything in the bible is the literal truth, and that the proof of this is that it says it in the bible. The bible is just a book, a hugely important book, a guide to many around the globe, basis of many philosophies, cause of many wars and publishing phenomenon. If you had chosen a different text as you religious manuscript where would you be? The very hungry caterpillar? Steven King's It? The Beano? Just because someone wrote it down, it doesn't make it true. Otherwise  we'd believe that all caterpillars ate a numerically increasing amount of food unsuitable to their regular diet each day before they became a butterfly, we'd shun drainage and sewers incase we encountered a mean clown that gave us balloons and ate our children and that Dennis the Menace (UK version) lived down the street from a man who always wore army fatigues and kept a mini tank in his living room, or for that matter that there was a family with the surname Menace who gave their son the middle name the. They deny the existence of dinosaurs. How the fuck they explain the skeletons they dig up in Montana, I'll never know. Where is the proof of god's authorship of the old testament? They'll say the bible says it and therefore it's true. In that case I have a million pounds in the bank, it's been written so it's true, or maybe not. Writing it down doesn't make it fact. It makes it text. 

It's all so frustrating dealing with these people, they counter everything you ask or question them with by hiding behind the bible (not literally) and saying that god wrote it down so it's fact. I'll believe god wrote it when they can provide me with his dictation machine, cos he sure didn't type it out or write it freehand. In any case I have learned how to deal with them. I shall ignore them as soon as I see the pamphlet they will so eagerly thrust towards my hand on the street, and should they be stupid enough to knock on my door... well, I'll play some Black Sabbath and invite them in to learn more about the devil.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Working on a Sunday...

Or rather not so much working on a Sunday, but working on a Sunday when the formula 1 is on.

Sometimes I don't think I'm a normal man. Sport is generally somewhere below being given an enema with vinegar and lemon juice after my intestines have been sand-papered. I do however adore motorsport, most especially the normally bi-weekly spectacle of the grand prix. I also work in retail, and these days, thanks to advancement in the ignoring of religious conventions in the face of blind capitalism on the part of already rich folks who don't have to work, we open on a Sunday. Occasionally I have to work on these formally sacred days of rest and food. Today was one of those days. Today was also the day of the French GP. Seemingly, with no consideration to my plight, they choose to run the race in the middle of the day, whilst I am at work. To counter this inconsiderate scheduling I have the wonder that is Sky+. I get to record the race and watch it as if it were live, with the side benefit of zapping away at 30 times normal speed during the ad breaks that ITV inflict on us. 

Now this is all well and good, but I work in a shop that sells TV's, and it is guaranteed that some unhelpful sod will switch one over to ITV and try to watch the race. This is not good. Not at all. If the race is to be even slightly enjoyable I need to know nothing about what has happened. I want the suprise and excitement just the same as the asshole who has decided to watch it in my shop. The person who decides to watch formula one in my shop is akin to a zit on your sphincter. Do it and I will make sure you get a bad deal. In perpetuity. I may find it difficult to resist taking a crap on your lawn. 

Work is not where it ends either, oh no. When I come home I have to put myself in isolation until such time as I can turn on the recording and watch the race. No internet, no email, no phone, no TV, no nothing that has even the slightest chance of revealing the tiniest bit of information. Today I almost failed. It was the fault of Newsround, a children's programme. Yup kids TV almost ruined my day. It wouldn't have happened if John Craven was still presenting it, he had normal hair, a jumper and knew what news needed to be revealed. He didn't have stupid hair and a polo shirt, and sure didn't tell me who won the formula one. He made a pleasant interlude between Johnny Morris and Blue Peter. Thank god my fingers in the ears and la-ing worked. 

Sometimes life is so hard! 

Friday, 20 June 2008

Ricky Gervais...

Oh boy, is this a matter of some consideration. Do I or don't I? Should I or shouldn't I? Well I have decided that I am and to hell with it.

I hate Ricky Gervais. A big statement I know. I hate international comedy superstar Ricky Gervais. It's not so much the man, or his work, but rather, what they make me do.

I have an iPod (yeah, so does everyone), and I listen to it on the way to work. Sometimes I listen to podcasts. Sometimes I listen to Ricky's. My normal reaction to Ricky's merciless piss taking of the hapless Karl Pilkington is to convulse with laughter. When I listen to this podcast on the way to work I do this in public. It's embarrassing. People stare. People look at me as if I am mental. I try to control myself, I really do, but of course every now and then an involuntary snort of laughter escapes, of course, because I have been holding it in the laugh is much louder than a normal one (just like when you hold in a fart). 

I am being made a fool of, and I don't like it, no matter how much I enjoy the experience. It's Ricky's fault too, if he wasn't so good at making me laugh, I wouldn't look such a dick as I make my journey to work. If you read this Ricky, I expect an apology!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Inappropriate Lipstick...

I get that some women are not satisfied with the lot they have been given, looks wise. That is, of course, why god invented cosmetic surgery. I also get that some women can't afford gods gift to ugly people (and the terminally stupid), or for some reason choose to live on in their hideousness.

Ah, but I exaggerate, I'm not really an advocate for plastic surgery, but there are a number of people who really should have some rather than perpetrating the visual crime they inflict on their faces. I'm talking about the women who aren't satisfied with the size of their lips, so dissatisfied that they decide to use their lipstick as a crayon and draw on some extra bits at the edge. For some reason they feel it's better to look like a cross between the joker (the batman one, not the playing card) and Zippo the clown. Don't they realise that we can see the edges? Don't they realise that it's possible to spot the fact they have done this from about 10 miles away because no-one's lips actually join up with the bit of your nose that turns one nostril into a more pleasing two.

I am, of course, ranting this rant  because I saw one of these women this morning, and once I had got over swallowing the bit of vomit that involuntarily appeared in my mouth at the site of her/it I noticed that there was something even more odd. It appeared that this creature had chosen to forgo lipstick, and gone instead with a freshly laid turd as her lip enhancer of choice. It was truly and entirely horrific. Urk.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The London bus seating situation...

Let me start by saying I'm fairly tall, over six foot, and this exacerbates the problem...but it's not just me who suffers from the idiocy of the designers who have perpetrated this mess.

Let's take the bus experience, as thats where I really have the issue. Firstly you arrive at the bus-stop. This being London there could be quite a wait for the bus, 15 minutes would not be too surprising, neither would the best part of an hour. I'll rant about the little lit signs that tell you how long the wait will be soon...thats another whole rant entirely. So as you're waiting you decide to take a perch on the convenient seat in the convenient shelter that TfL have so thoughtfully provided. Sorry. I should have said attempt to take a seat on the red thing that a parrot would recognize as a perch. Yes, when I was young bus stops had benches four slats of wooden lovliness that cradled you buttocks in a comfortable manner, so long as you didn't sit on the rivets, being wood they were not to cold in winter and being slatted they let circulate to your over heated bum in the summer. Now what do we get? A four inch wide strip of unyielding plastic  finished in an exciting, and bus matching red hue, it's top surface rakishly angled to about 30 degrees off the horizontal. So what does that do for us, well four inches is not enough to take the whole of my butt (pun intended, double intendre fans!) let alone anyone else who has a bum bigger than say... oh... Nicole Ritchie, the plastic surface is like mounting an iceberg in winter, and in summer, well there's no airflow and if the sun's been on it it's like sitting on lava, that's if you can sit on it. What is the purpose of that rakish camber? Well as far as I can tell it's to ensure you slide off towards the floor, risking embarrassment and injury, and providing amusement for any employees of the shelter manufacturers who may be passing.

Does it get any better when you get on the bus? Nope. Hopefully the bus is not so full as to prevent you from finding a seat, in fact hopefully it's totally empty, because if that's the case you have a chance of finding a seat into which you have a chance of folding your legs without resembling a pretzel that has been squashed in the oven, then folded to make it fit on the shelf, placed at the bottom of a full shopping bag and then put into a seat on the bus. You may get the gist that I'm implying that the space provided for you to sit on the bus is small. You're wrong. I'm implying that it's miniscule. You know those spy satellites that you read about? The ones that can read the newspaper in your hand just as you read it, so far below on the surface of our planet? They'd have trouble spotting something the size of the average london bus seat. There are in fact, on the average number 33, six seats which give me enough leg room. Thing is though, they are the ones that are helpfully labeled with the DON'T SIT HERE UNLESS YOUR OLD, INFIRM, PREGNANT OR A BASTARD notices that will invariably make a "normal" person such as my self feel guilty about seating myself there. Thing is, they may have the legroom in those seats, but they sure don't have the width, none of the seats do, it's not so much the bum width, there is just about the exact amount of space that my bum takes up. The problem is, that like most humans my shoulders go out further on the sides than my arse. If I do get a seat on the bus I find myself with my knees somewhere alongside my ears and leaning at an obtuse angle so that both mine and my seatmates shoulders fit.

It's a disheartening experience, taking a bus,  I'm not a sardine, you can tell that by the fact that I'm not dead and slathered in olive oil before I'm crammed into a space somewhat smaller than the actual volume of my body inside a tin can, oh and the fact that I'm not a particularly good source of Omega-3.  

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Signs that prevent me from falling...

Into the massive hole in the road that I would have to be blind or totally stupid to fall in. You know the ones, they stand mid pavement with a big white arrow pointing in the direction of the, always too narrow path they have left for pedestrians, and they say PEDESTRIANS, just in case you've forgotten your place in the road hierarchy.

Now to fall into a hole as deep as this you would have to, as I said before, be blind, in which case a sign that says where to go is no use unless you have someone to read it to you, in which case they'd see the hole anyway and tell you how not to fall in, or stupid, and to be that stupid would mean that no-one would care if you fell in. 

Why do I hate these health and safety inspired "conveniences"? Well there have been far too many of them around here of late. Thames water have decided that pumping liquid into the subsoil of Richmond is a waste of he money we pay them (yup, it has been for years, and that didn't stop you) and are replacing the water mains. But what really annoyed me was a supremely placed one. They dug up the pavement so that one side of the road was completely blocked, fair enough, there's no way around a sign offering alternative routes would be, at worst,  annoying but useful. Problem was that the blocked are was set back between a high garden wall on the right and a fence separating you from the traffic of the south circular road on the other. The sign that could save you some hassle by redirecting you was against the fence of the roadworks, 30 yards back between the wall and the fence, and when you see the sign it's arrow points in both directions, so what am I to do, leap the fence and get run over? Scale an 8 foot wall and commit trespass? Or walk back the 30 yards or more 'til I can find a safe place to cross? Well it's the last one obviously, but if they'd warn me a load of hassle would have been saved, they do it for cars, it's obvious that me and my two little feet don't matter.

Oh and big up Alex, thanks for reminding me of something else to rant about.

Remerchandising, or rather, how it feels afterwards...

My employers, who shall be known hereafter as the twits at head office, have decided to re-arrange the TV department. Fair enough. But it was planned to such a high level that they ignored several fixtures and fittings that have been there for years, and in themselves have been merchandised on the request of said twits at head office within the last two weeks.

That is not what I'm ranting about. No. It's the fact that today I hurt. I hurt like I imagine it hurts when you've been down the gym for 40 hours longer than your normal workout. I haven't ever been to a gym,  so I don't know, but I can imagine, it's so good having a brain, that works, occasionally.

All I did was move about 40 TV's, and it's not like they weigh the same as they did five years ago when they had a tube... oh and 25 shelves or so, and hang some brackets on the wall, [sarcasm]not too much work at all, nope[/sarcasm] (ooh I made a html joke). 

And it's not fucking over either! More today! Hooray!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

People say they're creative...

Take the advert for the new Ford Kuga. It says that it would be nice for us all to start with a blank canvas, and shows us a world wrapped in canvas/paper as the public stare in wonderment at what has gone on in the night. Children draw on walls with crayons (isn't that graffiti? Hoodie culture gets everywhere), and into the scene drives the new car.

So what is this marvelous new vehicle? A solar powered sports roadster? An amphibious supercar (with periscope)? An MPV powered by hamster dung? No! They would actually be inventive, and I wouldn't hate the designers/advertising agency would I? No we get a small 4x4 of the sort an American would call an SUV. It's entirely normal, it will not surprise me should I actually notice one amidst the other small SUV's on the street. If the designers started with a blank canvas I think they had a bright light and a photograph of a freelander behind it. Oh, and they aren't very good at tracing. Not only this, even the name isn't original, it is interestingly mis-spelt, I'll give them that, but only so that it doesn't infringe on the copyright of the Mercury Cougar, or didn't they think anyone would notice.

Blank canvas my arse!


OK, so normally the channel is crap. It's filled with the sports that mainstream TV and the very rich premium channels don't want. Still that can be a good thing. If you like beach soccer or the world street dance championships (he just did the robot...10 points!) who else is going to cover it? You probably love them, so I don't hate them for not going with the mainstream. In fact I like the fact that they cover the non F1/motoGP types of motorsport, and thats why I'm hating them...

I am currently watching the Le Mans 24 Hour race. I love the way it's on on fathers day, so no-one can really tell me off for watching it to excess. What gets my goat is the fact that every hour, on the hour I have to change channels to watch it. Fair enough, if you don't want it on your premium (cough!) Eurosport 1 channel all the time put it on Eurosport 2 and  leave it there. I'm not enjoying the effort of pressing the channel up/down button on the remote. Not at all.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Saturday nights...

Sticking with a TV theme, what the heck happened to saturday night TV? When I was younger there was a real choice between going out  and staying in to watch some rather good TV, and now, now I'm a parent and can't so easily go out on a Saturday, there really is bollock all on. There used to be things like the A Team, Airwolf and at least one good movie. Now the only thing half worth watching is Dr Who and really it's not all that good, and certainly not a patch on the good old days with Tom Baker, and even the crummy series with Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford is better than this one (though I will say, that for the first time, this episode has given me the mild creeps). Is no-one making decent family series, with the almost exception of Dr Who? So much of todays TV sucks, but a special kind of suckage has been reserved for the end of the week. The time of the week when families can sit down and join together watching some good TV and we get cack. There could be wonderment, and I do get to wonder. I wonder why my youth was so much better, in the days of 4 channels. Why could they  make good compelling family TV when there was so little made when you compared it to today. In these days of thousands of channels, all on 24 hours a day surely there could be something worth watching that I haven't seen before? But no, other than the Doctor what I want  to watch is all the stuff I watched 20 years ago.

Friday, 13 June 2008

While I'm thinking about it...

I would like to thank endemol for providing me with some of the best entertainment of the week.

The food task was perfect, what better than to see the people you hate going through electric shock torture (all health and safety approved too!)? Oh what pleasure it was to see them writhe and scream in pain, in real life, not just in my head! Making it better still was the fact that for a while one of the hated thought it would be fun to deliberately shock the rest of the hated, just as I would do, then got depressed about his meanness and spent an hour sobbing. I have no sympathy, only joy!

Oh and before anyone tells me that I don't know what it's like, well, you're wrong. When my wife was giving birth she had a TENS machine. I thought it was a good idea to put it on my arm and whack it up all the way before pressing the button. Surprising amounts of arm spasms and hilarity followed, with only mild pain. I do know what it's like and they were being pathetic. So ner.

I still hate them too, my sympathy gland is currently faulty.

So, I work in retail...

...I don't hate retail, but sometimes...

Customers can get on your tits. Why is it that some of them believe that they can threaten and control you? Do they really think that threatening to sue me because they must have their TV assessed for faults before I can do anything? Do they really think that their consumer rights allow them to get an exchange or refund because they don't like something they've used for six weeks, and if they shout the words 'Trading standards' in the shop it will magically change both the law and my mind? Do they think that I can't spot that they have broken their camera/hoover/TV/iPod, and that if I do spot it that I should send it off because Olympus/Philips/Sony/Apple could never realise that: their cameras don't have cracked screens with a thumbprint at the centre of the crack/their hoovers don't have a catch that snaps of when you look at it/their TV's don't suddenly develop a hole through the screen after 7 months/their MP3 players don't naturally come bent into a curve with their screens permenantly black?

The customers who labour under these miss-apprehensions are blessed with a holier than though attitude. This, I'm afraid is an invariable fact. They believe that they are right and preach their version of the truth like a southern pastor ministering to his flock. They also automatically come in already angry and ready for a fight, for some reason this makes me slightly less than willing to sort out their problem, oh I'll do exactly what I must, but not a step further, nope, you come in and shout at me and it will get you precisely nowhere. Often the problem is that what I must do is tell them that they are going to get nothing, nada, zilch. Now what do you think that does for someone already built up to fight their "righteous" (in their own mind) fight. That's right, it makes them rather angry, and angry deluded self righteousness makes me hate people. Hate them good and proper.

So some advice, if you have busted your device, don't bother bringing it back unless you have insurance or want to pay, we will find out that it's your fault, and we will do fuck all for you. If your device goes wrong, no matter what you do/shout/claim/say I can't change what I can do for you, if I must send it for repair, I will, if I can exchange it, I will, shouting will not change this, and really, don't you think that it would be easier for me to exchange everything anyone ever said was faulty? It would, really, but do you think we'd make a profit if we did? And no,  before you make any claims, you wouldn't get it exchanged if you went to our competitors, they aren't dumb either, they can see you broke it just like I can. 

If it weren't for customers retail would be easier/more boring/not exist/not provide me with anyone to hate. I'd miss it...a good hate does you good!