Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I suppose that's it

It's time to put this blog to bed.

I've revised this post fifty times and it still doesn't say what I want it to.

Oh well.

Once I've written a decent novel draft, I'll come back to blogging.

Until then, thanks everyone. It's been a laugh.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Cake as political metaphor

BBC news, bless their little hearts, love using gimmicks. It's no longer enough to discuss, say, possible new Education Ministers by lining up grey baldy pontificators. These days they'd have a mortarboard graphic hovering around the 3D heads of up-and-coming politicians.

Anyway, this morning on the Today Programme, they had a long section about NHS funding. Sounds dull, I know, but I'm curious why NHS workers universally slag off a Government which has funnelled a fortune their way. Something funny's going on.

The BBC decided to show this using a cake. A real cake. Which they cut up with a surgical scalpel.

- This chunk here has gone on improved pay and conditions for medical staff.
- Gosh, that really is a pretty big chunk, isn't it?
- Yes, pretty big.

Slicing up a cake to analyse NHS spending is silly but not unforgiveable, you might think. But this was on the radio.

They're cutting up invisible props on the Today Programme. I weep as Alexander did when he saw there were no more worlds left to conquer.


Monday, January 15, 2007

American streams

The wonders of the Internet mean I can now watch American television on my laptop, and I'm teleported directly inside the American soul. It's all there in the adverts.

Endless fast-food passes before my eyes. Why do none of these processed-fat-guzzlers look overweight? But I spot some salad, and start feeling peckish. If the nearest Wendy's Steakhouse is in Portland, Maine, could I get there and back before the start of the Second Quarter?

A smug businessy wanker drives his nasty machine on the edge of a skyscraper while a woman faux-orgasms next to him. I find myself rooting for gravity.

Hummer adverts. Contempt fails me.

Four more smug businessy wankers get email on their mobiles and gibber at the commands passed down to them from the Board. You know what? With each day that passes our bodies malfunction, the global climate breaks down, the sun burns on towards extinction and the universe - our gorgeous, swaggering universe - puffs itself outwards. Eventually there will be nothing left except wisps of inert matter, expanding towards nothingness for ever and ever and ever. But even then, should I by some outrageous miracle survive, there will not have been even one second where I have given the vaguest flying fuck about the desires of the Board. Grow some spine, you odious corporate lickspittles.

A slouchy fatso drops into a subterranean bunker where other slovenly nonentities drink themselves polatic in front of a plasma screen. Its target demographic is the suburban, sports-watching male. We're expected to empathise with the ordinariness of this supine and apathetic figure. He's us. The not-so-hidden message is you are a useless, failing toe-rag who doesn't even need windows, so shut up and consume our product. If I bludgeoned an adman to death with a copy of The Da Vinci Code, could I plead provocation?

The sports commentators start joining in the adverts. "I'm really looking forward to that new series of 24, where Jack Bauer's corpse is going to reanimate itself in order to save America by torturing dusky foreigners and slaughtering inmates in Federal custody."

Dozens of Peyton Manning slots. He lacks the comic genius of, say, Charlie Chaplin, but he's amiable enough. America, you'll soon be bombarded by David Beckham, who will make Manning look like Demosthenes.

Thirty magic seconds where rednecks talk about which devices to put on the back of their pick-up trucks. Are they serious, or is this ironic? I honestly can't tell.

But by the end of the game, Baltimore Ravens fans are blubbing on the telly. I know schadenfreude is an ugly beast, but I can't help feeling it's all been worthwhile.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

At last some good news

Victoria Beckham is leaving the European landmass.

A quarter of a billion dollars for an aging, non-dribbling winger to sign for a team who get lower gates than Stoke City.

Reluctantly, I'm forced to concede that this is probably a plot by space alien-vampires. Soon the population of Greater Los Angeles will be reborn as blank-eyed, slavering night-dwellers who live only for the sweet taste of narcissism and human blood.

Well, those that aren't like that already.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Is it winter where you are?

We don't have them any more. Just extended drizzly autumns with an above-average chance of our villages being devoured by tidal surges.

I miss frost and snow and breath you can see.

And wearing coats.