Friday, 31 December 2010

don't let go

this is barry. he drives a crane. for some reason, he has painted his credit card pin number on it.

"hey barry."

barry once used the website www.webuyanycar.com
they gave him a tiny amount of money for his immaculate 2002 nissan micra. barry felt like this wasn't enough, but the people on the helpline told him he should have read the small print better.

Monday, 27 December 2010

four lions

i like to go to theatre workshops.

that sounds a bit gay and rubbish.

I'm sorry you think that. what do you like to do in your spare time?

oh, I like to watch 22 men run around a field with shorts on.

oh, right. what else do they do?

sometimes they kick a ball into a net. and every time they do they get a point. the more points they get, the better their chance of winning.

that sounds brilliant. so I guess that happens a lot then.

normally about 2 or 3 times in a game.

but you don't have to wait long, right?

sometimes ninety minutes can pass by without a point. and then no-one wins.

that's like fishing and not catching anything.

but when someone does get a point, loads of people cheer. and the players celebrate by having a little tumble. it's really great.

do you get your money back if no-one does a point?

nope.

so, do the players get paid less if they don't do their job properly?

nope. sometimes they get given £50,000 for a week.

for what?

for trying really hard.

so, if your team doesn't win any points, do they say sorry?

no, normally they blame the quality of the grass or something.

if you watched archery, and none of the archers hit the target, that would be rubbish wouldn't it?

but sometimes there ARE goals. sometimes.

how many on average...?

about two per game.

and how long do they last?

ummm... they're sort of just instant.

so potentially, in an hour and a half, you probably only get a couple of moments of good bits?

sometimes games are longer than that.

it sounds pretty dull.

there are loads of attempts at points. loads.

an attempt isn't an actual achievement though, is it? I mean, if I ATTEMPTED to draw a picture, but ended up not drawing a picture, I might as well have not bothered even picking up the pencil. hey that's a nice t-shirt.

thanks, its the away shirt for my team.

I like it. how much can I buy that t-shirt for?

£40.

WHAT?! for a t-shirt?!

yes. my team won a competition last year. they scored 33 points in ten months. I will buy another t-shirt this year.

Jesus.

when my team lose, I get really sad.

oh dear. sometimes in theatre workshops I get to kiss girls, and my girlfriend doesn't mind. in fact she normally watches, and then says how good it was.

sometimes I pay £30 to watch a game where no-one does any goals.

oh.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

christmas present #7

my nephew dressed like a christmas idiot.

christmas present #6

a lovely dry bottom.

christmas present #5

shit joke.

christmas present #4

a fine spread.

christmas present #3

a raging fire of heat.

christmas present #2

pyjamas with 'men' and 'mom' written on them.

christmas present #1

the fuck-birds

Monday, 20 December 2010

here comes santa claus

unusual conference set-up this morning. aside from the fact that they've gone with a hawaiian theme for santa's christmas grotto, it's not what you'd normally expect to find on the presentation theatre stage on a Monday morning.

"hello little boy, whats your name?"

"it's ken, santa"

"and have you been a good boy, ken?"

"well, i was the deputy co-team-leader for the investment & adherence focus group on the TODGER project."

"and what would you like for christmas, ken?"

"i'd like to shift any blame for the state of the world economy right away from me."

"oh well, ken, was it your fault?"

"i'd like to think i had nothing to do with it. i was merely a pawn accepting orders and only made a bad decision when it meant i made more money for my bonus pot. some of which i'd spend on my family."

"is there anything else you'd like for christmas, ken?"

"money."

"haven't you already got some of that, ken?"

"want more."

"'want' is not a very nice word, ken. the elves and i always say 'i want, doesn't get.'"

"i'd also like a prostitute to sniff cocaine from."

"next child please."

Friday, 17 December 2010

water of life

please enjoy our delicious mulled urine.
nappy rolidays!

give peace a chance

for today, you can get the 4'33" track for FREE!
and to top it off, money still goes to charity and it still affects the music charts.

so lets get this straight: you can make a contribution to some great charities, take an active role in the battle against mediocrity AND send a message of disinterest to simon cowell - without paying any money.

1) register or log in at mflow
2) click on your name in the top right of the screen
3) on the drop down menu click 'redeem code'
4) Type in XMAS to the redeem code box - it then puts £1 credit in your account
5) Search 'Cage Against The Machine' and then click to buy it with the credit.

say it loud

ME: hello sir, i've just come to put a microphone on you.

HIM: i hate those things. do i need one? i can project.

ME: you have an audio conference call on this event, so you need to speak into a microphone otherwise people calling in won't hear anything.

HIM: can't i just shout?

ME: from london to mumbai?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

let's get retarded

in my last couple of weeks of full-time employment, it's refreshing to know that I've made the right decision.

today a conference I am running has an audio dial in. for those not in the know, this means that I've connected my sound desk to a telephone line and dialled it into a conference call so that bank workers all around the world can log in and listen to the meeting.

there is also a similar facility where people can log into a website to watch the PowerPoint slides I am sending out.

a section of this meeting had a slide show showing the department's achievements for the year, while playing the theme tune from Mission Impossible.

half way through this section, the events girl (who has spent all morning coming back and forth every 2 minutes to ask me questions like "can I dial a normal phone number on a phone?") came and said she'd just had an email from someone listening in on the conference:

HER: the people on the phones are saying they can only hear music.

ME: that's because we're playing music. there's nothing else going on.

HER: but they're saying they can't see anything on the phones.

ME: see?

HER: yes, they can't see anything.

ME: on the phone?

HER: yes.

ME: ....

HER: they can't see anything on the phone. can you make sure it's working?

ME: I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean. do you mean they can't see the slides?

HER: I guess so. hmmm.

ME: have they logged into the slideshow website?

HER: on the phone?

ME: on their computers. they need to do that. they had an email explaining it all to them.

HER: oh. maybe they haven't done that.

ME: I expect so. could you get them to do that, if they look at what I'm broadcasting they might be able to see it.

HER: ... and then they'll be able to see?

ME: yes.

HER: ... the presenter?

ME: the slide show.

HER: oh. so they won't see the presenter?

ME: no. we don't have cameras in this room.

HER: do you need them? can you just put it on the computer?

ME: I'm afraid not. to get a camera shot of the presenter, you need a camera.

HER: so what will they see?

ME: the slides.

HER: but they need to log in to the website for them?

ME: yes. they were all sent log-in details via email.

HER: does that not happen automatically when they dial in on their phone?

ME: no. their phones and their computers are separate pieces of equipment.

[she gets out her blackberry]

HER: oh. I've just had an email saying that some of the others can't hear anything.

ME: are they dialled in on the phone line?

[she goes away and returns a few minutes later]

HER: do they need to do that as well?

ME: yup.

[she disappears again]

while she is away I send an email out to anyone online informing them of the correct phone number.

shortly after I start hearing loads of people dialling into the call.

she returns.

HER: people can hear now.

ME: okay.

....

these are the people who run your bank. these are the people who're in charge of your money and the world economy.

ace.

Monday, 13 December 2010

killing in the name of

dear simon,

i thought i should bring something to your attention. you may already know about it, or your personal assistant army of bikini-clad chavscum may have missed it while they were engulfing your unbelievable manhood with their desperate lips. if you have missed it, it appears that a bunch of nobodies - including suggs (who?) and the kooks (what?) - have got together to record a single in the lame attempt to knock your x-factor single from the much-deserved and arbitrary Christmas Number One slot.

this group of artists that no-one has ever heard of have decided to cover the legendary John Cage's track "4'33"", which is just four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. how silly! who would even want that? i mean, if people didn't want to hear the x-factor single they could just turn the radio off. i'm listening to 4'33" right now, actually. (i bought the album, including all the remixes.) it's so incredible to think that people would rather pay money for silence than listen to your release.

i haven't bought the x-factor single yet, and as such i don't even know what it is. to be honest i missed the x-factor final as i didn't know when it was on. partly this is because i was normally out meeting other humans on a saturday night, and partly it was because someone offered to gouge my eyes out with a dagger. perhaps you should think about spending more money on advertising, or organise some sort of ridiculous media frenzy surrounding all the performers on your "talent" show, then it wouldn't be so easy to avoid miss it.

actually thinking about it, i think i did accidentally catch some of the x-factor show. the television was on while i was getting ready to go to a music gig of music performed by a real-life band of guys who had worked hard on their art and written the songs themselves. we temporarily lost the signal to the channel we were watching and searched for another one that worked. we ended up on ITV (because that button is largely unused and was therefore easy to operate). we saw about 3 or 4 minutes before my girlfriend vomited and i'm pretty sure it was the x-factor even though it looked like an advertisement for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

during that 3-4 minutes we saw a humanoid who looked like cheryl cole spout-forth a classic hit by music historian Jay Zee which is a re-hash of an annoying song from an old musical starring an precocious little drama-school girl. luckily it wasn't cheryl cole, though; otherwise i think i may have shot myself (that awful pikey scumbag is famous only because she is pretty, and no-one seems to have realised how much of a talentless, wretched bottom-feeder she is). i'm so glad you haven't fallen into the media trap so many others have and allowed that racist on your show. no, luckily this spitting image of cheryl was completely different, even her name "cher" was nothing like "cheryl." and instead of miming to an autotuned backing track like (violent offender) tweedy does, cher stood proud in her complete inability to sing. this bravery was astounding, and i hope that she was rewarded by some sort of fix that enabled her to win the x-factor celebration. i can't imagine there was anyone better.

a christmas without the x-factor single being at number one wouldn't be the same. it would be reminiscent of that horrible year some time ago, when half a million people bought 'killin in the name of..' by rage against the machine instead of whatever that song was that whoever won x-factor did. do you remember that? do you? most of those people probably hadn't even heard of rage against the machine, so they might not have even been buying the song 'cause they liked it, only because they didn't like you. that's hardly a reason to buy a single.

why would no-one like you, simon? why?! you're totally rich and you've made your money by your own level of integrity and the integrity of the people who keep telling you how great you are. you remember 'saturday night' by whigfield, right? that song didn't get to number one because it was good, it got to number one because it got into people's lives and was almost impossible to ignore. like an infection. that's like you, simon. you're like an infection. you've slid into consciousness and remained there despite any attempts to remove you.

your magnificent offering to the integrity of british music has some real backing from some significant people. for example, drugged-up fuckhead Pete Doherty didn't even turn up to the 4'33" recording. i think that was probably in support of you and [insert name of x-factor winner here]. billy bragg was so desperate to not be at the recording of 4'33" of absolutely nothing, that he had to provide his contribution from a mobile phone that sat in the recording studio. he probably even had to pay for that phone call.

the chances of this ridiculous behaviour even achieving it's goal are entirely slim. compare it, for example, to the other online cause of over 630,000 people who are backing the track 'surfin bird' to win. loads of those people would be from other countries like america, so if they buy it the sales won't even affect your x-factor single progress. and americans are from a different continent, so they probably haven't even heard of you. therefore it can't possibly be a reaction against your torrent of musical disease.

perhaps if all the people in the world who didn't like (or even despised) the x-factor got together with one plan they would obliterate you from the music scene altogether. ten thousand here, half a million there, six hundred thousand people somewhere else. coo, there's a lot. however lots of those people have wide and varied tastes in music and don't take too kindly to one single command telling them what they are and aren't allowed to like. if only people weren't such free-thinkers, simon, then this would all be much easier. for example, some want to buy 'surfin bird,' some want to buy '4'33"' and some want to throw their own fecal matter at your hair. not a chance of winning there. millions of people who hate you will have no impact whatsoever. ha!

simon, i once heard that you were thinking of doing the same thing to politics that you did to the british music industry. i heard that you were going to attempt to create a television show where the sorts of viewers that watch the x-factor would also have a contribution to the way our country works. is this true? i hope so, that would be hilarious. imagine the x-factor demographic running the country, it would be like a dickhead being given a shotgun. SO funny.

i should tell you that i also bought surfin' bird by the trashmen to see if it was better than the x-factor single that i haven't listened to. you should also know that i am now going to buy all the other tracks suggested by the various different online rages against your machine. i think i can only draw a fair argument against them if i make sure i've listened to them all. i already have most tracks, but i thought i should buy them again just to make sure i have the latest version. i won't need to buy yours as loads of other x-factor fans will (if their dole money is enough). the money i save not buying yours will be used to buy 4'33" again, to make absolutely sure i am totally up to date. i do this in whole-hearted support of you and your manufacturing system.

i have my fingers crossed that you win this year. that way, people will get to hear a new improved version of whatever original song you decide to recycle. and there will be an overwhelming amount of self-satisfaction for anyone who believes that any proceeds will go to a charity. it will also get loads of airplay on radio stations, which would be better than DJs having to play four and a half minutes of dead-air. i stopped listening to the radio ages ago because it seems to be full of shit, so DJs playing silence would be no different to me. however loads of people still buy compilation albums like Now That's What I Call Music, so there must still be a call for mediocre songs performed by mediocre people.

good luck, simon. you may only have a short time left before the nation can't take it any more. i can't wait for that day.

vote dukakis!

lots of love and kisses from
F. House

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

legion

jay rhoderick is an new york based improviser who teaches improv for businesses. he shows them that when people in business collaborate and encourage each other's wide and varied skills, then businesses will flourish and leaders can become inspirational. to you and me it seems obvious that an atmosphere of encouragement and support can lead to people performing better, but i work in a business environment and i see on a day to day basis that business folk are much more comfortable with stifling and self-importance. in my experience, business people tend to be of the 'no but...' culture of negativity and limitation. and most of them are happy in the tiny world they create for themselves and not being seen to think outside their self-inflicted box.

google didn't flourish because it constantly set limits. apple certainly didn't restrict itself to a pre-decided square. innocent smoothies didn't accept it when they were told 100% recycled bottles couldn't be done.

on jay's twitter feed, he recently posted the following quote by american critic walter lippman:
"When all think alike, then no one is thinking"
... and i haven't been able to get it out of my head.
what i think lippman was referring to was the crowd mentality. often when there is a big group of people the ability of that crowd is much lesser than the sum of it's parts. a crowd will stand looking at someone who has fallen over, and no-one will offer to help.
the x-factor is a good example. have you ever watched it? (i did once, it made me want to drive over a child). when someone says something critical in the x-factor (and they have every right to do so) the audience only have one reaction - to make a booing noise - regardless of whether it's a valid opinion. say anything positive, anything, and the audience will go mental with joy.
SCENE 1 [participant sings really really badly.]
judge: "you didn't sing very well."
audience: "BOOOOOOOOOO. what an invalid opinion."

SCENE 2 [participant sings really really badly.]
judge: "you have a nice pair of shoes on."
audience: "WOOOOOOOOO YEEAAAHHH!!!! that was great!"
i think they probably don't even need a studio floor manager to cue the audience on that reaction. i imagine the average x-factor audience member to only have basic responses to stimulus anyway.

the result is that the x-factor continues to churn out unimaginative, mediocre acts that won't be remembered in ten years time. and the people who subscribe to ITV's celebration of mediocrity remain totally happy with that.
no-one strives, no-one achieves, they all remain stagnant.

i attended a jay rhoderick workshop earlier this year. in it we learned that one of the best catalysts for interesting things to happen is when opposing forces meet and are changed by each other. the world expands inexplicably when - rather than sitting still and not standing out - people explore their differences and allow those differences to grow into something new. if everyone just sits in a room and agrees with each other, nothing will ever change.

when fire meets fire, it just makes more of the same destructive force.
when fire meets water, it makes steam.

although when water meets fire, it can put the fire out. so, fire service men are like overbearing managers who put too much control on the flame of creativity, and all you are left with is a sodden mess that's no use to anyone. what you need is a skilled arsonist who can burn down a square building in such a way that it collapses and lands in the tinder box of a steam-train. and sometimes metaphors can go too far.

CHOO CHOO!

this blog is a prime example of what happens when i try to write while being distracted by my job every ten minutes. that is: a big fat list of non-sequitous gumpf. i think i'm going to start putting a word limit on my entries. wait... a limit?.... DAMN!

Monday, 6 December 2010

as you like it

sometimes comedy just gets you right there. you click with it or you don't.
as any fine regular readers are unavoidably aware, stand-up doesn't usually do it for me.
but these guys do:

the beta males picnic (great name) played the hoopla christmas cabaret last night; a gig that i was running tech-stuff for. and they were brilliant. they sat really well with me and i easily found their level of humour. it was playful and silly, but wrought with intelligence. they defied preconceptions, had some fantastically dark sketches and were fundamentally hilarious throughout.

best of all, each one of them came independently to thank me after the show, for doing the technical bits. it's a very simple and easy thing to do, but it makes a huge difference. i hope they are recognised for the brilliant sketch comedy they perform, because they are lovely chaps and totally deserve it.

the good, the bad and the ugly


GOOD
a new impro show is coming to your screens in the very near future, and it's pretty blaardy exciting. fast & loose looks to be a short-form show, similar to whose line is it anyway?. ace.

improv hasn't really been in the world of mainstream entertainment in about 15 years or something, so this is a fresh and exciting time. it's pretty darn marvelous actually, because not only will it bring improv back into the forefront of people's minds and give us all a little bit more exposure, but it will be fricken funny to watch - judging by some of the acts that are on it:
pippa evans
humphrey ker
marek larwood
ruth bratt

all brilliant. brilliant. brilliant.

BAD
i'm slightly worried about how impro will translate to our TV screens, and it totally depends on the bravery of some TV executives. Fast & Loose is from the creators of Mock the Week, which was a show that suggested that it was off-the-cuff but was so transparent you knew it was all lies.
Mock the Week was partly created by Dan Patterson, however Dan was also a big genius-hand in putting Whose Line is It Anyway? on our screens. hmm.
hopefully he is allowed to do actual impro this time, like in the heydays of Ryan Stiles (consistently hilarious) and Josie Lawrence (impro singing master) and not the annoyance of Andy Parsons (just has a weird delivery) and Gina Yashere (just does african accents).
thankfully the cast members suggest actual impro, as the ones i know are very talented improvisers and not stand-up comedians. huzzarp!

UGLY
from the press release:
Suzanne Gilfillan, Executive Editor for the BBC, comments: "Fast And Loose is warm comedy entertainment with a modern twist, with a rich mix of established performers and new comedy stars in the making, reflecting the wealth of new and exciting improv talent on the stand-up comedy circuit."
... improv is not fucking stand-up!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

lilac wine

in tribute to my recent blog about The Canton Arms in stockwell, I had a Sunday roast in their style.

you see before you "le dessert de la yorkshyre with a black pepper dressing, winter vegetable jus, and a rouge chili and parted garlic accompaniment."

it's CONCEPT food, yah. I had it with an ironic mug of sainsbury citrus cordial with a freshly pumped hydrogen/oxygen solution.

it was dee-licious.

waiting for guffman

"change your facebook profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same, for the NSPCC. until Monday (december 6th), there should be no human faces on facebook, but an invasion of childhood memories. this is a campaign to stop violence against children."

... is what i read on facebook today.

oh for pity's sake. talk about following the crowd and not questioning the reason. like blind religious faith/idiocy or voting on the x-factor.

so I'm told that by uploading a picture of Top Cat i would be taking a valid stance against child abusers. phew, i'm glad that's all i have to do. what a powerful force this social networking site is; that if people do something with completely no social impact, violent abuse will end. you don't even have to donate any money or anything. or consider the logistics. or invest any thought whatsoever.

a while ago it was suggested that not logging into facebook for a WHOLE day was enough to support anyone with autism. and remember when telling everyone the colour of your bra would cure breast cancer?

brilliant. now doing absolutely nothing for those in need has extended to ACTIVELY doing nothing for those in need on a website. thank god.

y'know, if that's the case why stop at child abuse and mental illness? here's my suggestion:
replace your profile picture with your favourite military assault vehicle. do this until 12th December and we can stop wars. by the 12th, facebook shouldn't have any human faces, but be an invasion of aggressive battle weaponry. spread it around your friends, or we'll all die...

feel free to join me and tens of others in this pointless and nonsensical task. i have chosen a SCUD missile because it reminds me of the war that was on when i was a child.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

another dick with no balls

the canton arms in stockwell used to be a pub with a welcoming hug and a friendly smile. run by some cheery Australians it was 'your local' where you could stretch yourself out on a sofa and enjoy your evening. now, however, it's run by an owl who likes to masturbate into his own face. long gone are the days when you could pop round for a heartwarming plate of chips and leave with a friendly wave. no, now you'd be lucky to even find a member of the bar staff as they're more likely to be up their own rectum searching for new desserts for 'The Most Pretentious Menu In London'.

i tried to eat there a little while ago. i tried, but instead of what you'd expect from a pleasant little pub that used to be a glimmer of class in a dubious area, instead of a nice gastropub burger and chips with a sticky toffee pudding, my choice was rabbit shins or something written in french.

if i wanted a menu that came from the sphincter of a hunting jacket and get it served by an elitist member of the hipster scumniverse, i'd go to shoreditch. i want a pub. a real one. with a menu that doesn't make me feel like a dick just from reading it.

aside from that, if i go to a pub i don't want the pub staff to talk to me like i'm a piece of fecal regret.

yesterday evening i tried the place again. i thought they might, by now, have realised the folly of their shallowness.
the place was busy and i didn't immediately log the genre of clientele.
"hi, we'd just like a drink please." i asked. being a pub i considered this an ordinary request, although momentarily i thought it slightly abnormal that i felt i'd had to justify my attendance to a public house, but...

there were plenty of seats available.

"this is the FOOD area, please go over THERE," blurted a 'trendy' waiter. the boy's beard was not as good as mine. ah, thought i, that's another reason why i stopped coming here; because the staff are rude and cunty. and rude.

i was with my lady-girl. we paused for a moment to consider whether to get a dessert to justify us being allowed to sit in a public house. maybe they'd be serving something resembling food this time, and not kitten-licked chocolate clouds.

"are you waiting for friends?" another member of the staff interjected. he had an ironic moustache.
"um, no, we're just decidi_.."
"well could you move, i'm working here," he expunged from an ironic sneer.

my instinct was to tell the pretentious prick to fuck off, but despite being in the presence of a moron with an over-inflated sense of himself i was still able to retain basic social abilities.
my second instinct was to suggest that his job is not dissimilar to working in a Wimpy bar, but instead my lady-part simply said (with just the right level of sarcastic venom for me to find it pleasurable) "actually, we'll just be leaving thanks."

part of me would like to suggest that you should avoid the canton arms, but i'm aware of the chance that some of you are total wankers. some of you would really LIKE to see sheep-cheeks and garlic foam on a pub menu. some of you are dickish media types who'd actually enjoy being in the company of other dickish media types, even if those dickish media types run a badly conceived gastropub filled with old semen.

the cunton arms: obnoxious and awful.

within ten minutes walk of the canton arms - if you want a pub with a good atmosphere and a pleasant environment - are The Cavendish Arms and The Fentiman Arms. both of them are non-pretentious, warm, friendly and great. the staff don't talk down to you and you don't feel your soul being drained when you read their specials board.

the cunton arms: as my non-pretentious and beautifully human lady-hand said, "worse than having no local at all, is having a local that you just wish would burn down every day."

yep.

Friday, 3 December 2010

simple

there is a kind of inexplicable aura that when you first meet someone you can tell if they aren't completely there. when you first meet someone a 'little bit special' there's a strange knowledge that they aren't necessarily firing on all pistons. I think it's a human empathy thing, dating back from the days where people actually cared about each other. without knowing exactly why or how, you can see when someone has mental illness and this leads to immediately feeling sorry for them and wanting to help them with simple day-to-day tasks like filling a bowl with cereal or tying their shoelaces.

it's found in a slight vacancy or dullness behind the eyes, like all processes end at the cornea and behind only a slowly swirling void exists. it's sometimes a look of constant surprise that they have managed to remember to breathe. it can also be a real determined concentration on any very basic motor function.

JLS stands for 'Jack the Lad Swing'

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

panic on the streets of london

as i write this the streets of whitehall are being overrun with spotty teenagers, and bright yellow police chaps are playing 'it' with them for the third time in about two weeks. and i think it's great. not much gives me more pleasure that a few thousand people going into westminster to shout "screw you david cameron, you vapid, snivelling sphincter. you damp, elitist swamp of pointlessness. you horrid, horrid, wet lump of old toilet roll.
screw you, david cameron; and screw your poor excuse for a chess-team cabinet and their flappy vagina-faces."

those squealing little kids are embodying the fury that is felt across the country by people who would happily join in the taunts, if they didn't have to spend every daylight hour working their dicks off to cover the cost of their council tax. i don't condone the stupidity of the runt who threw the fire extinguisher from the tory HQ roof, but i must applaud the sentiment of the whole get-together.

screw you, david cameron.

and you, nick clegg. don't pretend this has nothing to do with you.

if only the 'riots' had any hope of making any difference. if only those waif-like pimple holders could change the age-old fact that political decisions are all made and finalised by a bunch of wealthy people in a room full of mutual masturbation and social detachment.

well done, children. good for you. smash that window. light a fire.

sadly, of course, even if it does make a difference; even if the average human is able to afford the "accessible" higher education system in the future, what they won't realise is it is largely pointless. even if they do make it to a university, chances are it will be a shit one with budget problems and half-arsed facilities. okay, i admit it, i didn't enjoy uni that much. i mainly wish i hadn't bothered. i mean, it's not like it's benefitted me in any way - it hasn't added endless fortunes onto my salary, or anyone i know. i reckon.. no, i'm certain i would've been better off financially if i'd just used that three years to start a business, or train in something useful. all my degree got me was two years running a clothes shop for a man who thought "make more money you stupid cunt" was an acceptable form of staff motivation, and an ability to write a Curriculum Vitae in basic english - good enough to get me into a job in which i'd learn everything i'd need to know for doing that job.

of course this may have been improved if i'd gone to a good university. instead, i went to northampton. aside from the fact that northampton is a soulless grey square with only a couple of sweat-holes (night clubs) to change the view, there was nothing to do. not one student club appealed to me. not one. the uni was geared toward people who made leather and muscled dumb-wipes who liked stroking the phallus of sports science. that's why i spent most of my free time visiting troubadour at Royal Holloway uni.

actually Royal Holloway was quite nice. a pretty campus and legions of beautiful, unobtainable women. and the syllabus was apparently good too. of course, there's no way i would've got in because entrance was based on what academic grades i got at a-level; not how awesome i am.
and i only got two a-levels because when i realised in the first couple of weeks that i didn't want to continue pursuing the pointless folly of Physics, my school decided there was too much paperwork involved for me to change to something else.

for the £300 my parents spent on extra physics classes i'm sure plenty of underpaid teachers would've happily filled those forms in.

oh well.

those little vandals currently infesting the streets around parliament are great, but sadly their efforts are a waste. sorry guys. get a job; under our coalition government those are easy to come by.

or if it's the sex and drugs of uni you're interested in, just grab your free-travelcard and wriggle your way down to clapham. you'll find all the STDs you want down there.

the santa clause

i have resigned. like i said i would.

like the most cunning cunner in the land, i have timed it so my last day is christmas eve. that means any time i see a countdown clock ticking the seconds away to the festival of cheer, rather than the dread i normally feel i now get a little wave of excitement.


this banner features not just a badly designed HTML code, but also a spelling mistake.

Friday, 26 November 2010

end of days

totally fascinating and in some ways beautiful documentary about The Aokigahara Forest at the base of mount fuji.

it is japan's most popular suicide spot, and more than two people every week go there to take their lives. this doc is sympathetic and wise, but by no means for the faint of heart. seriously, if you are easily saddened or disturbed... do not pass go.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

monsters inc.


this is pretty beautiful. yes, it's dangerously close to crossing The Cheese Line, but the message is clear and valid.

now, if only they could make one for creative, geeky people who don't fit into the nonsensical structure of the academic education system (which was probably about 90% of Pixar staff), that'd be ace.

Monday, 22 November 2010

jaws

rob card has only gone and got himself a bigger boat.

underneath your clothes

i frequently get asked about the ideas i store for walking up on stage and doing improv. if something amusing happens at work, someone will very likelyly say, "ha! that was funny. i bet you'll do that in one of your shows!" if some crazy happening happens in my outer-life, i'll often get a word in my ear to the effect of "you should write that down so you can use it in your next performance." despite how often i describe what impro is and what we do, people still assume that i go up on stage armed with a series of sketches and events that i then just act out.

i've had it after shows, too. even when a friend or colleague has come to see an improv gig, even if they themselves have provided one of the audience call-outs that determined what happened in the show, they still might ask which scenes we decided to do before the show started. after they've had it explained to them that the success of the great bits is nothing to do with extensive pre-planning of every detail, but extensive working on the skills needed to facilitate those things happening. you don't think up a character before the show and then walk into whatever scene and somehow make it fit. at no point do we ever think of a storyline, make sure all the performers know all the details about how its going to go down, then walk out onto stage fully prepared for every nuance. we don't do that. it's called improvisation for a reason.

some people do that. it's called 'acting'. it's a very different art-form.
or it's known as 'sketch comedy' (also different).

a good sketch comedy group will spend a year finding good material worthy of a show. as an impro show is different every time, imagine the physical impossibility of writing that amount of material. go on, imagine it. i rest my case.

oh no, wait, i've got a series of other points to make. deal with it, i have nothing better to do with the these hours i spend sitting next to my job.

when alex ross paints his immaculate images for comic books, no-one suggests that he just takes a photo and then traces it. people don't say to him, "that's really good, who did you copy it from?" alex ross is the incredible artist he is because he worked at it. he practiced. yes, he must have been born with some amount of natural skill, but that's not enough. he didn't just pick up a paintbrush for the first time and come out with a pile of photo-realism. he first needed to learn how paint rests on paper, and the way the brush fibres react under different pressures, and how much green he needs to add to get the colour he wants. he studied how light works. he found what textures rested easily on the eye. he also needed to find what worked for him, specifically. rather than just saying to himself, "picasso used oil colours, so that's what i need to do to be a good artist," ross needed to find what tools suited him; what brushes made sense in his fingers, what types of paint he understood.

even after learning all those skills, a brilliant picture doesn't just miraculously appear because alex ross is good at painting. he needs to use those skills and actually do the painting bit. then the miracle happens.

when an improviser heads up on stage, they do it armed with tools. they have things they have worked on that help them, skills that they've developed. they don't just walk out thinking they're funny and everything will be alright, that's called arrogance and arrogance has a very limited shelf-life in improvisation. first there are basic skills that help create successful improv, and then there is the relentless development of those rules to encourage better performances.

note my language here. at no point am i suggesting that anything guarantees a successful improvised performance. you can work on your skill until you're red in the face and your skin is falling off with physical and mental tiredness, but never at any point does this provide you with any certainty. alex ross still has to use an eraser every now and again. neil gaiman has to go back and re-write the odd paragraph. (so. many. geeky. references.)

people often say that if you put ten thousand hours into anything, you become an expert. after 10,000 hours of practice, you should be really very bloody good at something. painting, acting, piloting a plane; with a little bit of natural ability and 600,000 minutes of your time you should be brilliant. by my calculations, if you put a fair amount of time into impro each week - if you attend loads of workshops, shows, rehearsals, practice sessions etc. 10 thousand hours happens after about 8-10 years.

but even then, there's no way you can be absolutely certain that you're going to alley-oop yourself on to stage and provide the best thing an audience has ever seen. i've seen some of the best improvisers in the country lose their way in a show, fall out of a scene, resort to cliche.
and that's the joy. that's the humanity. as the troubadour says, it's a highwire act. part of the theatre of impro isn't the guarantee that what you're seeing is the best comedy act of all time, ever, but that the performers could fail at any point. they could be the best improvisers in the world, but still they're jumping in front of the audience's headlights and playing chicken with their expectations.

the same joy extends to the performers themselves. the reason we aren't doing plays or sketch-comedy, the reason we're absolutely not going up with pre-decided skits, plans, characters... is because it wouldn't be fun for us. it would be pointless. you wouldn't feel satisfied with the job you've done. it'd be like popping into a newsagent and seeing the magazine cover you designed, and suddenly realising you completely forgot to fill in the back section of megan fox's coat. you haven't done enough. you've been lazy. what you should've done is pasted a breeze-block over her bland fucking face.

as an improviser you have a responsibility to the audience. no improv performer wants to provide a paying member of the public with a half-arsed show. but the responsibility doesn't extend to 'planning the funny' in advance, it is about preparing yourself to find the funny once you're up there. anything else is dishonesty. and taking public money and pumping it into dishonesty is reserved for other types of people.

improvisers love that they're going up on stage without knowing what's going to happen. so that's what they do. i could go up onto stage with the best idea i've ever had emblazoned on my chest beneath my shirt. i could go up onto stage and tear it open to reveal the funniest set-up for any joke ever, guaranteed to kill the audience with mirth-power like some sort of super-human comedy machine... but then all i'd need to do is just call myself a 'sketch comedian' and... well, i'd probably get bigger audiences actually.

but i wouldn't have as much fun. and i'd have to sit down and learn a script (urgh).

Friday, 19 November 2010

waterworld

hey, if anyone out there is still worried about rob card's boat trouble, stop panicking. they are floating the barge back to the surface as we speak.

i expect you're as relieved as i.

words

this blog has been rated U, by the writer himself.
suitable for everyone.

the nazis were great censors. they successfully managed to censor anything they liked, on whim. books, newspapers, music, jokes. did you know jazz was illegal in nazi germany? if you listened to it, you could be arrested, beaten and sent to a concentration camp. or worse. if there is anything worse.

instead of reading work by brecht or listening to mahler, the nazi police made sure that your creative influences were limited to a strict list of pro-nazi, pro-hitler, pro-racist gumpf. like mein gumpf. they decided what was good for you, and they made damn sure you didn't get much say in it.

censorship is power over people. power over the way they think or feel. power over their pool of resources. it is the restriction of liberties. none of this paragraph is particularly groundbreaking; suggesting censorship is a way of strangling the people you're oppressing is almost as obvious as saying 'royal blue' is one of the colours you could categorise under the title: 'shades of blue'.

the russians have been pretty good at censoring stuff over the years too. throughout history they've been in and out of censorship laws, making sure that you didn't get to reap the diverse culture that the world has created, in favour of government-chosen material that encouraged you to believe the government were ace. if one were to write "i don't think the government are doing a particularly good job" in something, it would be an automatic banishment to the depths of a secret library a thousand miles below moscow. imagine if we had that now, we wouldn't have any newspapers except The Daily Telegraph. yoik.

the chinese officials are well known for their stance on censorship; they love it. they love deciding what can and can't be read by the 'free' people of the people's republic of china. you've heard of the Great Firewall of China, i'm sure. ask a chinese teenager about the disaster at tianmenman square and they'll look at you blankly, or think you're talking about the colour of the flagstones or something. instead of the truth, they get a rewritten history that is as irrelevant as it is misleading.

iran! there's a good one. iran's regime is one rife with censorship, and if i'd written this blog within their walls i should expect to be whisked away, twatted in the face with the butt-of-a-gun and hidden evermore in an underground room with limited access to comfort or vitamin D.

iran loves a bit of internet censorship, particularly. they even have restrictions on broadband speeds, supposedly so that if you did somehow manage to get into a site that was deemed inappropriate, you'd get bored of waiting for it to load way before the pictures of boobies appeared.

iran officials also think it's okay to chuck stones at a woman until she dies, which does make me question their judgement as to whether something is suitable for general consumption or not. also they eat carrot jam and make gravestones that look like cocks. irany?

thankfully, we live in a country where we have free access to all the creative exploits of humans throughout history. we live in a country of free speech and free media. what a joy it is that we don't have to worry about whether what we're reading is indeed the full story. we can even read mein gumpf if we want; without fear that someone will batter down our front door and punch us in the face.
and we are allowed to say what we want, as long as it's not with the objective of inciting violence (fair enough, that's just rude).
thankfully we can be sure that our voice is heard, even if it is not listened to (this blog for example). it's a basic human right and we get it, so that's nice. support your local library.

so what about this?
... what's that for?

in a really backwards way, some MPs are trying to get a bill to stand against the idea that internet service providers are allowed to decide what we can and can't have free access to. rather than ISPs asking for the right to censor material, and being told by our democracy, "no, fuck off," our representatives (heh) in parliament are having to fight it. having to fight, for example, sky broadband deciding what news websites appear on our google search.

have you ever watched sky news? it's like the sun is having a posh wank on camera. and then vomiting. when i type "news" into google, i don't want sky news to be my option, i want real news, not this grubby nonsense.
fuck me, it's hard siding with peter andre. that poor, simple man.

hm.

sky is also a business. it is run by executives. therefore it's motivations are finally financial. i think it's safe to assume, then, that if sky broadband get to decide where your internet fun is heading they'll probably lean towards the places that result in a bit of cash in their pockets. or lining the fuel tanks of their aston martins.

what if there was a story about a Sky executive committing fraud or having an illegitimate child. of course, people in powerful positions never ever do anything untoward, but what if...? does Sky then have the right to restrict the news and prevent as many people as possible finding out? where would that right stop?

and i don't want to read fucking sky news.

even if you did want to read sky news (i'll just pause for my prejudices to take root........ there we are) the decision whether you can or can't should absolutely lay with you. i may not agree with your beliefs, but i will fight to my death for your right to believe them. for internet companies to be granted the right to point our thoughts in certain directions, we are one step closer to the censorship in iran. and one step away from the freedom of the speech.

so watch out for that.

----

next on my list of things to do is send a very slightly edited version of this to my MP (basically i'll remove the video of peter andre). my local MP is a human rights lawyer in the labour party, so he might be able to read some of the longer words.
feel free to copy and paste anything you want in a letter to yours too.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

get up, stand up

i am regularly asked how my stand-up comedy is going; "how's your stand-up comedy going, arsehole?" "you got any stand-up gigs soon, monkey-boy?" "hey ugly man, you do stand-up don't you, ugly man?" .. that kind of thing.

many improvisers are familiar with this kind of faulty questioning, it is a common series of mistakes. as soon as you mention that you do comedy people immediately consult their limited library of reference points and assume that you do stand-up comedy. i don't do stand up comedy. i have done, i enjoyed it...
i prefer improvisation.

stand-up is really very fundamentally different to improv. i'm going to have to generalise, but basically stand-up is one person on stage telling jokes that they have thought up, written, improved, worked on, honed and then put into an order that makes them compliment each other and provide a calculated series of laughs. you know that, you've seen stand-up, everyone has. stand-up is well known and the 'stars' of stand-up comedy are like rock gods in the comedy world.

improv is better. i reckon. improv is better because stand-up comedians try and do it and they usually can't, and when i saw 20 improvisers do stand-up as an experiment they were largely brilliant. that means improv is harder (fight me). you probably won't have seen the improvisers-try-their-hand-at-stand-up show (most of the population of the world didn't make it), but the standard of stand-up was surprisingly high. actually, using the word 'surprisingly' takes away from how good it was. it was consistently brilliant.

as a contra, try watching an episode of Mock The Week - a quiz show that's apparently a bunch of stand-up comics improvising funny answers to questions and mini stand-up routines based on suggestions. but you see that it's not improvised, right?
you see that they have rehearsed the show and had all day to come up with the 'funny', right?
you can tell by their delivery, right?

okay, if you don't see that you should definitely get yourself to an impro show, because your mind will literally be blown out of the top of your head. literally.

i find impro better because it is about improving the world. it is about collaboration. it is about people working together to make something wonderful happen. an impro group will work as a team to build something out of nothing using only the power of their wit and the relationships they've formed with each other. new worlds, new characters, new situations. new places, stories, relationships, issues, songs, ideas... more more more
"improv is constructive, stand-up is destructive." - me
there's a tag line for you.

stand-up seeks to - yes - explore the world, but then it deconstructs it into it's component parts to find the subtle and not-so-subtle nuances that make life on earth ridiculous and amusing. it is holding a mirror up to ourselves and taking the piss out of the crazy nature of living. "people do silly things at weddings, don't they?" "the government are a bunch of numpty's, aren't they?" "here is a pun" that sort of thing.

stand-up uses what's already there. improv makes something new.

there are of course, exceptions. there are a lot of great stand-ups who do great comedy. it tends to be the ones that have a constructive comedy routine that make me laugh the most.
- eddie izzard, for example. he creates weird and wonderful situations out of every day objects. he adds to the world to find the comedy. (he is also a trained improviser, trained by a brilliant improviser i know called alan marriott.)
- bill bailey... creates songs for his performances.
- ross noble is brilliant. ross noble improvises his entire set and it's different every nigh... what..? wait a minute.. yes, he improvises every gig. oh. he's an improviser.
- daniel kitson is warm, generous and offers you comedy on a plate of his mum's best china. he also writes plays.
- steve coogan created alan partridge.
- russell howard .. is animproviser.
- michael legge .. is an improviser.
- nina conti is hilarious, has a fantastic relationship with her ventriloquist puppet monkey and... oh yeah, hang on, she's an improviser too.

what about the americans? bill murray, tina fey, larry david...?
improviser.
improviser.
improviser.

there are brilliant stand-ups who don't particularly add to the world to make their comedy, but they are less in numbers. stewart lee, dylan moran, lee evans in his heyday. god bless their existence.

if i was going to publicly list stand-ups who i think are vastly, vastly over-rated (of course i won't, that would be terrible).. that list would include ricky gervais, jason manford, russell brand (ohmygod), michael mcintyre (holyfuck)... people who are more famous than talented. a bit like paris hilton.

i don't do stand up. that's brilliant, i do improv. it is less well-known, but it is better. do you remember who's line is it anyway?.. ? good wasn't it?

there are shit-loads of impro shows going on, every day. just because it's not on TV all the time doesn't mean the improv community isn't alive and thrilling. the only reason it's not really on TV is because TV execs want to know the exact content of something before they give it money. before it goes on air. that's probably why 'improvised' mock the week is rehearsed so many times and then heavily edited. you see that, right?

basically, our choices about what comedy we get to watch on TV is governed by people in business suits. not even funny people in business suits.

you could have more of it in your life. and it's cheap too. a fiver will usually get you a whole evening of hilarious comedy that'll will only happen the one time. and if you speak up, the show could be all about something you shout out. better than telly, that.
start here for your next show. if we all start going to them, the TV executives might notice.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

two can play at that game

today i sail on waves of a thrilling age. as ripples of mirth clear in my wake, i gaze at the horizon with a chorizo in one hand and an old copy of The Beano in the other.

i am in two improv groups. the joy this brings my face is effing sweet, and the result is a barrel of win.

8bit is the first. 8bit is a seven person troupe who do American style long-form improvisation. you may not know what these words mean, so I will tell you in the next paragraph.

here we are! American style long-form improv is a thing where a group of improvisers take a single suggestion at the beginning of the show, then create an entire story from it. you could almost call it a 'play' if you like. if it goes perfectly you will have multiple characters who all go on their own journey and are changed by it in some way, an underlying theme, an over-all story arc, believable locations, interweaving things and relationships and stuff, and constant hilarity throughout (more of that in a later post). 8bit operate on a harold. that's an odd sentence.

a 'harold' is called such after the first time one was ever performed, one of the improvisers suggested the name as a joke in tribute to a george harrison gag in the film "a hard days night." later the improviser (Bill Mathieu) said he wished he'd picked a better name.

tangent.

8bit have sort of grown organically out of The Ministry, my first impro group. we had been doing a bit of short-form, but there are a lot of groups doing amazing short-form stuff in this country and we wanted to find a thing that made us different. after a flirtatious brush with long-form at the edinburgh fringe festival this year we all got excited and dedicated ourselves to learning how to do it. it was like learning to walk again.
the group grew from the four original members of the ministry to seven of eight bit. it was really exciting. it happened as numbers add to themselves. it happened as nature grows in the wild, and without realising it we had a small group of people that felt 'right.' we could sit round a table, looking at our fellows and think 'yup, this works in my head. this makes sense.' it was joyous.

for all the joy, it also bought a fair amount of pain. we work with some brilliant brilliant people, and there was a big want to try and include everyone we love working with in the group; and we knew that some of these people would want to join in the goodness. improv is an inherently inclusive thing, but we had to say that the line had been drawn. we had a group that had 'happened' and it felt good. seven was a good number. it made me have a warm tingly feeling in my breeches.
any more would feel messy, any less would feel sparse.

8bit are seven. and it is nice.

(although i kinda think of 8bit as eight people, because i include our coach in our number. our coach was the beautiful and generous tim sniffen, then he went home to the US&A and his mantle was taken up by the inordinately talented katy schutte. they are both fundamental in our show and they are both included in my love-reach)

music box is a whole different kettle of fishes. actually, no it's not. it's a slightly different kettle with some of the same fish swimming around inside. and a whole bunch of new fish. and all the fish are singing.

music box do a long-form musical. they (we) take a couple of suggestions from the audience at the beginning, then before the audience's very eyes a musical appears. a whole musical. characters have needs and dreams, relationships have trials and tribulations, aliens have guns and funny voices... and the whole thing is accompanied by music and song. over an hour, a musical - a real life musical - rises from nothing. and it is wonderful.

andrew lloyd-webber spent months writing Love Never Dies, and all that he came out with was a bunch of shit that's having to be re-written as we speak because audiences hate it so much (i saw it last week because my friend was standing in for the main part. she was great, the show was awful).

music box create a musical in an hour, and it as fucking great.
i auditioned for music box. i auditioned in a big workshop audition-thing, and i got in. it was crushingly flattering and it was three tonnes of affirmation on my abilities as an improviser. i'm incredibly grateful to be in the group and it feels like all the hours of workshopping, rehearsing and accepting-the-criticism-of-all-the-teachers-who've-been-doing-it-longer-than-me, have paid off. which is good, because if i add up all the money i've spent on learning this stuff i'd probably cry a bit.

anyway, i'm in two groups. they are both brilliant and i love them. there are ridiculously fun times ahead and doing shows with them is a pool of cream i will swim.

i'm also going to write more about improvisation in the future because it is good and it will enrich your lives. watch this space.

Friday, 12 November 2010

up

I just got called 'the main man' by a work colleague. I find this one part hilarious to two parts confusing.

it was by a cover staffer, (a technician that gets bought in to cover the gap in my team when one of us is pretending to be off sick). he was on the same shift as me, but while I was changing out of my bell-boy uniform to go home he sat there studiously waiting.

"you know you can go home, right?" I said.
"I was waiting for you to give me permission." says he.
"what?"
"well, you're the main man. I was waiting for you to say I could."
by that point i was halfway out the door. I could only muster a facial expression that resembled when you accidentally drink orange juice instead of milk.
"huh?"

firstly, I don't know what drew him to that conclusion. I wasn't introduced as the team leader or anything. yes, my 'official' title is senior technician, but it's only circumstantial and doesn't mean anything. and besides, at no point was that title revealed to him.

secondly, I am stumped as to what gave him the impression I was in charge. I have about as much motivation in my job as the average dog-crap bin, and am by no means dynamic. my general aim is to not have to get out of my chair unless I need a shit. I tend to regard my paid job as a side-project to my thought processes. I do both, but my main focus is on the stuff floating around my head.

I don't really get hierarchy in humans. perhaps that's why working on the 2nd floor of a 34-storey building belonging to a determinedly hierarchical corporation doesn't sit that well with me. actually, there's no real 'perhaps' there. I disagree with it. and it disagrees with me, rather like a bad prawn salad. bring on my resignation. not long now.

all humans are born the same. some are better at some stuff than you, but you are better at some stuff than them. but essentially, we are the same. your yin is my yang, and together we keep the earth-machine alive and ticking.

pretty much all people fit into this category, except for people in the x-factor and sales-staff for Phones4u.

on my team I am better at AV-stuff, mike is better at computer stuff and owen is better at pretending he gives a shit. none of us are in charge, but we get everything done.

that's the way the world should work. don't screw it up by putting people on a higher level, that doesn't make sense.

is it just me?

what's the argument against disbanding political parties? seriously, this is a genuine request for information. I don't know the reason.

the way I see it, we have been let down by politicians; not by parties. if you are an MP, you supposedly have committed to dedicating your life to improving the lives of people of your country (an optimistic platonic ideal, admittedly). therefore, regardless as to whether your party is in power, you have entered into a team (parliament) of people who are meant to be working together to make everything better.

currently, if your party is in power you (usually) have the majority and because of the way politicians are directed by their boss how to vote on house decisions, it's easier to pass bills.

as a member of the opposition, your task is to challenge bills and make it more difficult for those in power to just make laws willy-nilly.

if parties didn't exist, bills would be voted for on their merits and be much more a representation of the population of the country than the ideals of a few people sitting round a big wooden table.

here's the idea:
- make political parties a thing of the past.

- make and police the law that you can't tell a politician how to vote, as currently happens in parliament. I don't know the details of how you would do this but if people had to make full plans before they had ideas the human race would never have left a cave.

- every politician is an individual, voted for by his borough on his individual merits and stances on political issues.

- we would have a separate election for a prime minister, but his/her cabinet would have to be made up of the elected MPs.

please feel free to discuss this with me. I am open to criticism about the idea, and for people with a better grasp of these things than me. I just can't see how it would be a bad thing.

mean girls

if you are a man and you like comedy, there is (or should be) a big part of you that wants to fuck tina fey. even if you don't find her physically attractive, you should at the very least want to moisten yourself with her comedy talent.

she says some great, succinct stuff about impro(v) in this here video, and that makes me a happy dick. i mean it makes my dick happy.

i like the word rekjavik. it is the capital of somewhere. part of it rhymes with dick.

although, i must say i take a very different stance to her on the pie/cake argument. that could be to do with the american definition of 'pie' being rather different to the UK version. for them a pie is a soft, creamy nonsense. for us, pie is a basic human right.

explosivo

that teapot is a bomb and the sushi in my chopsticks is a detonator. i'm going to use it to blow up an airport, or something.

of course, that's not entirely true. although the teapot really is a bomb.

if you follow the twitter universe at all, you wouldn't be able to avoid coming across the news that a man was arrested, fined and given a sentence for tweeting the following as part of his flirtatious relationship with a fellow tweeter, while they were trying to meet up for the first time:
"Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"
paul chambers has subsequently been tried as a menace to society, on the understanding that his tweet was a genuine threat to bomb the airport. which it clearly wasn't. clearly. right? you see that, don't you? even though it's an accountant making the joke (and they are hard to spot) you see it, right?

if you don't see that, perhaps you should get a job with the police, or as an influential part of the judiciary system. it's a pretty easy job either way: basically criminals tend to announce their intentions on a public social-networking site and you can pop round and arrest them. and they don't put up a fight, because they're usually kinda stunned that you even bothered turning up.

i hope your application goes well.

in the meanwhile, i'm going to toodle off now; i have a nuclear missile in my pants and these london underground stations won't raze themselves, y'know.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

live wire

for some reason my generation have lost the ability to fix stuff, and would much rather buy a new one. i know people who would buy a new gadget if their old one had so much as a scratch on it.

i'm a big believer in fixing stuff yourself. if your brake pads are wearing out, buy new brake pads and change them.
if a button has come off your coat, sew a new one on.
if your lady gaga CD has a scratch in it, good.

it's better for the environment, it's fun, and it's way cheaper if nothing else. it saves that thing where you get a bill at the end and gasp when you look at the section called 'labour charge'.and besides, scratches add character.

days of thunder

i can't help thinking that this encourages dangerous driving.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

titanic

you might not believe this, but this is a photo of absolute carnage.

this is a shot of the construction going on outside my workplace. i mentioned it a while back. have a look at the previous entry that that link links to and play a wee game of 'spot the difference' if you like.

i'll give you the answer, those who couldn't be bothered. in shot 1, there is a big barge-thing full of earth.

in the shot above, however, it has been replaced by a big area of water and three workmen in fluorescent jackets wondering where the barge is.

can you guess where the barge is?

i can tell you where the barge is, if you like. or you could look at that burst of bubbles on the right hand side and make an educated guesstimate.

--

this morning when i got into work, there were no fluorescent jackets on that site. there was just the last 8 feet of a barge slowly sinking out of sight. there was a sign nearby, with a phone number and the instruction to call Rob Card for construction related issues.

we did that.

a very abridged version of the conversation went like this:

"morning rob. your boat's sunk."
"what?..... fuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccckkkkkkk!!!!"

that's rob card in the photo, in the orange jacket. he is having a bad day.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

the frog princess

i really like tadpoles. no, not the tiny little black fishy things, you idiots... i'm talking about three wheeled vehicles with two wheels at the front and one at the back. of course i am, stop being obstinate.
for some reason i just think they look fricken ace.
what a delight, morgan are reuniting the world with an updated version of their iconic threewheeler. i think this new version is beautiful.
look, fool, the engine is an 1800cc harley davidson v-twin, mounted in front of the radiator grill. then there are matt-black straight pipes running down the shiny bullet shaped bodywork. it's got tan leather interior and black spoked wheels. and... oops, i've just made wet patch in my pant-pants.