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Monday: Late again,today, he'd be in trouble though he'd say he was sorry
 

 

 

The Great Gay Badges Scandal.

7th August

 

Somewhere no-one cares about, somebody has been asked to wear a badge they don't like so they've been told they can do a job somewhere else if they want because they're volunteers and they don't have to do anything they don't like.

 

This is the front page of one of Britain's leading newspapers, the Daily Mail.

 

Elsewhere their government is in turmoil, they have no idea how they're going to manage the Brexit they have engineered - although TM has said she's willing to pay 40 billion Euros and has admitted that Brexit will not reduce net migration while Britons abroad will suffer.  Well done Daily Mail.  It also seems to be running a campaign against Philip Hammond who has aenough financial nous to know what a disaster this is going to be.  Perhaps the Mail thinks Mrs  should call another election.

 

But the point is the style of the reporting.  It's 25 years since homosexuality was decriminalised and still the Daily Mail in a display of barely suppressed homophobic terror is outraged that that some volunteers at the National Trust have been asked to wear Rainbow coloured badges.  The next thing you know they'll be making them all wear hijabs.

 

Oh, the humanity.

 

So It Begins

6th August

 

So the football season is upon us and by all accounts it was an uninspiring start for the mighty Owls.

 

I listened to this match on the radio.  The first half sounded like it was pretty poor fair, but we're used to that.  Mess about for the first half and then take it to them in the second.

 

But we didn't.

 

The second half sounded worse than the first.  I don't recall us having  real chance and Preston were pressing.  I've still not seen the foul that led to the penalty but there seems o be no dispute, in fact most of the match reporting suggested that we were entrenched and using the kind of last ditch defending that gives away penalties.

 

Of course my view of the match wasn't helped  by Brian Laws "expert" commentary.  I don't think I've heard a match where he didn't think we were second best.  He always constantly questions any management decisions as he obviously knows better.  An expert commentator hould at least like the club he's commenting on.

 

Anyway, cue the chants of Carlos Out on Tuesday.

 

Pigs Might Fly (Sorry)

5th August

 

So the Perv Police have been found not guilty.  I came very close to typing "have got away with it", but I know better. 

 

In case you don't know, the crew of the Sheffield Police Helicopter have been on trial for taking photographs while over flying nudist colonies and filming swingers "at it" in their garden.  I find it hard to believe that only one person was guilty abusing the position of trust but that's the way it's panned out.

 

I have my own story about the police helicopter.  The Police Helicopter was launched on a bank holiday Monday and n that day I and others spent the day drinking in the pubs around Intake.  I remember it was a gorgeous summer's day and we were standing outside the back of the Foxwood.  As we saw the police helicopter go past, we waved.

 

Ten minutes later a small flotilla of police cars turned up.  There had been trouble in the Berwood and Shirley and they thought it had moved up the road and they thought we were signalling for help.  Oh how we laughed.

 

Anyway, Sheffield no longer has a police helicopter.

 

Probably a good thing.

 

Women's Football

4th August

 

It's the first time an England senior team have been favourites to win a tournament and we blew it.

 

And we blew it big time.  A 3-0 thrashing by the hosts.  The bits of the match I saw made it look like we were never in it.  Notice the pronnoun there.  I was involved in some way.

 

But not the way football usually grabs me.  I'm not good at watching football on the TV, it lacks immediacy, but this tournament has lacked something else.  Maybe there's a lack of pace, maybe it's different kind of skill, maybe there's a lack of physicality.  Or maybe it's just lack of interest.

 

Neymar will have kicked a football every day of his young life.  He will have been raised and buttered up every second.  And not just Neymar.  No matter what anyone says or tries, girls do not have the same experiences and until they do, the women's game will not be the same as the men's.

 

Channel 4 have tried to raise the profile by covering the tournament, but the English/Dutch match was the first match to sell out and that was a mere 30,000 fans.  That shows although we're making headway, it's still a minority sport.

 

What will make the difference is when women players are paid the same amount as male players, get the same support and earn the same prestige.  Anything else is lip service.

 

In other news Parisians pay £200 million for a man, Wednesday pay £10 million and a banker gets £400 million in bonuses.

 

Transformers

3rd August

 

This one of those films where it never stopped being a film but you had to admire the sheer technical expertise.

 

First off, this film is beautiful to look at.  The amount of detail is amazing.    The best example is the underwater scenes.  As well as all the tech and the transformers and the digital humans, every shot has CGI fish and is lit up by luminous CGI jellyfish.  I saw it in 2D but maybe I should have gone for 3D or IMAX.  The amount of stuff happening in the background  is dazzling and would beare a second viewing.

 

If you'd seen the trailers you could be mistaken for thinking that this was a time travel story.  Footage of the Arthurian and Second World War segments dominate.  Fortunately the stuff in the trailer is all there is in the film and is there as to try and explain the plot.

 

And that's where you can't get away from the fact that it's a film.  They blow up the moon.  Two planets collide but all the damage is undone buy triggering a mystical artefact.  Optimus is a good guy then a bad guy and then a good guy.  The world knows about Transformers then it sort of doesn't and how the Decepticons fit in is never really explained.

 

To be honest, none of it makes much sense, but it's amiable nonsense and good to look at.

 

Sadder

2nd August

 

Donald Trump, the leader of the free world, only knows thee adjectives, bad, great and sad and none of them mean what he thinks they do, so I thought maybe it’s time to get the writing group to write something sad.

 

Dictionary.com lists the following as the ten saddest words or phrases and I used it as a starting point.

Back to school

Goodbye

Heartbroken

If only

It might have been

Lonely

Love

Melancholy

Terminal

What party?

I also found a picture of a sad kitten.

 

 

The writing group came up with some  genuinely sad stuff, but I'm concerned I opened some cans that would better have stayed closed.  Also, it dismays me how often I feel like a sad kitten.

 

Will you do the Fandango

1st August

 

I watch and enjoy the President show.  This week a new actor  joined the cast, Mario Canone. Mario is a competent comedian and immersionist who has been out of work for a while so a regular spot on a primetime satirical show.

 

He was playing Anthony Scaramuchi.

 

Oh well.

 

I got in from my trip to the Isle of Man just in time for John Oliver.  The Mooch segment was recorded on Sunday (see below, especially the stuff on news readers inability to say "suck his own cock").  After watching it, I turned over to catch the days news, only to find he'd gone.

 

Maybe this is a good thing.  Maybe the White House has realised that they can't just appoint any nutter who butters up Trump.  And let's face it he deserves firing.  The question is why was he hired in the first place?

 

Trump has said nothing about it.  According to his tweet, it was a "great day at the White House".

 

Crisis, what crisis?  

 

 

 

Isle of Man

31st July

 

I've been to the Isle of Man.

 

When I told my friend that the sea was full of little pieces of lamb and pork, he didn't understand that I meant it was choppy.  When you explan a joke like that it loses any connection with humour.  The ferry crossing was smooth on the way back but choppy enough on the way going for bottles to fall off tables.

 

I went to visit my friend John so I had a native guide.  This meant we didn't do the touristy things, but instead we did things like visit the Great South Show where we saw the dog obedience trials and went to Peel to drink tea in a quayside caff.  We also drank some beer.

 

I tried to do some touristy things Douglas has lovely beach, but when I went on to fly my kite there was literally no-one on it.  It's actually quite hard to get on to,  there is a series of steep steps why I found hard to navigate.  I took time to  walk to the sea and paddle for a short while.  It was bloody windy tho'.

 

My mobile phone didn't work in the Isle of Man for some reason so I was deprived of the phone for a whole four days.  Apart from the fact that I couldn't contact Patsy to see how the cat was I didn't miss it.  Digital detox?  Who cares?

 

Sucking Your Own Lollipops

30th July

 

Jesus.

 

I know it's been printed elsewhere, but here goes.  In an interview - yes, it was an interview and he knew it was an interview he said this about Reice and Bannon:

'Reince is a f----ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac...'
'I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not trying to suck my own c---.'

At the same time he is/isn't/maybe going a divorce at a time when she's pregnant.  She gave birth last week and the Mooch wasn't there.  He sent her a text saying he hoped the baby was alright.  A text.

 

Then there's the BBCs footage involving "frontstabbing". 

 

Why is he still communications director?  if CJ Cregg had done this she would have been fired, although it might have made a good story line. 

 

The reason is because he says things like this about Donald Trump.

"I've seen this guy throw a dead spiral through a tire, I've seen him at Madison Square Garden with a topcoat on, standing in the key and hitting foul shots and swishing them -- he sinks three-foot putts"

And we thought Sean Spicer was a trainwreck.

 

Trans

29th July

 

Trump has just tweeted:

 

"After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow… Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military, Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming … victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

 

Apart from the from the inflammatory, ill-informed and bigoted nature for the tweets, he hadn't told anyone in the military about this.  There is no consideration of the how this would be done, the impact of the sackings on the armed forces, the lives of the personnel or the effect on Trump's image, but really shouldn't he have let the Pentagon know what he was going to do.

 

But, there again, this is how American government works these days.

 

Trumps reference to medical bills is interesting.  The armed forces pay for gender reassignment because they see gender dysphoria as a disease and reassignment as a a "cure" which is hardly the most sympathetic approach to its trans warriors.

 

After yesterday, I'd just like to point out the Boy Scouts of America accept transgender people.

 

Boy Scouts

28th July

 

Donald Trump (who was never a scout) chose to turn the annual Boy Scouts of America into a Trump rally.  Honest.

 

He chose to bad mouth President Obama (who was a scout) who he said had never attended a Jambouree (he appeared live by video at one though).  He also dissed Obamacare calling it evil and seemed to be saying Obama wanted to ban Christmas.  He spent a rambling section of his speech explaining how he had won the popular vote and how it didn't matter if he hadn't as he'd won the electoral college.  He told scouts they could trust him but not the media and he finished with a couple of bluies, one about an old man scoring with attractive young women.  He then effectively dropped the mike after talking about hot New York PArties

 

The problem is all the complaints seem to have come from parents after the event and although the scouts  have since issued a statement apologising, their officials on stage seemed to be lapping it up.  As sadly were the 40,000 (yes, 40,000) young people who had to put up with this garbage.  In it's official response the The White House, through spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said “I saw nothing but roughly 40,000 to 45,000 Boy Scouts cheering the president on throughout his remarks.

 

The slowness of the scouts to respond makes me wonder whether their claims of political neutrality are justified.  It also makes me question the validity of their equal opportunities policy.

 

Maybe Trump should have appeared by video too.  THere could have been a delay and they could have cut to ads whenever he said something inappropriate.  The scouts would have made millions, as there would have been plenty of ads.

 

 

Sean Spicer

27th July

 

Sean Spicer has resigned (yeah...right).    He was kept in place by sycophancy and the fact that he "got good ratings".  Trumps words, not mine.  Here are some of his greatest hits:

The Inauguration crowd was the biggest ever

Inventing the phrase fake news

His clueless briefings to his own selection of the world's press

His incompetent stuttering performances

Hiding in the bushes to avoid answering questions on the firing of James Comey

His curious fascination with non-existent terror attacks in Atlanta

Accepting and telling us Trumps tweets were official statements

Not getting to meet the Pope (Ha!)

Trying to say "cofeve" was a real word and the President knew what it meant

The Nazi's Never Used Chemical Weapons

The last of these is the most significant for me.  It shows a lack of education an crassness that typifies the current Whitehouse.

 

Welcome to the US in 2017.

 

Evil Boots

26th July

 

Boots has been criticised of refusing to cut the cost of one of its morning-after pills.  The British Pregnancy Advisory Service has said this because Boots are afraid of "incentivising inappropriate use".  Boots has said it was "disappointed by the focus" BPAS had taken.

 

I suppose this might be true, I would have thought the guardians of the nation's morals would have something to say about it but they seem strangely quiet.  All I'm seeing is earnest middle class young women  who seem remarkably pleased with the fact that the BBC and others are covering this weeks cause celebre.

 

One of the things that surprised me is none of the tellings of this story have involved input from the anti abortion nutters.  As far as they're concerned, it's a baby as soon as the sperm hits the egg.  I'm surprised that they're not up in arms about the fact that Boots is enabling would be mothers to kill their babies.  Bastards.

 

I personally am surprised that the drug which sounds as if it should have other effects is available over the counter.  I don't think it shouldn't be available over the counter, I'm just surprised the ill informed moral majority haven't demanded it be prescription only.

 

But the overwhelming narrative is evil Boots making a profit from pharmaceuticals.  Bastards.

 

Anyway, you can get it sheaper from Tescos

 

I've always had a thing about boots, but that's something else entirely.

 

SAD

25th July

 

Sad is a word overused by Donald Trump.  It devalues it as a word which is a pity, because sometimes the word sad is the only one that will do.

 

They said their that Cajrlie was a "sweet, gorgeous, innocent little boy" and  "the hardest thing we'll ever have to do" is "To let our beautiful little Charlie go".

 

This is unutterably sad.

 

Their US doctor had told them it was now too late to give Charlie nucleoside therapy giving the suggestion that if

 

Black News

24th July

 

It seems people of colour have been in the news a lot recently.

 

OJ Simpson

I didn't know OJ Simpson was in prison, let alone for a botched armed robbery involving his own sporting memorabilia.  Anyway, he's judged to have suffered enough.  I also didn't know OJ stood for Orthenal James.

 

R Kelly

An out of place comment on an American comedy show led me to Google R Kelly.  Apparently he's been running a weird cult of personality involving under age sex slaves, but he's got away with it because, he's R Kelly.

 

GoT Slaves

Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss next project is an alternate history drama called Confederate, which is set in a world where slavery was never abolished in the US, and the southern states managed to form a new nation. Cotroversial eh?  If they wanted to be really controversial they'd have an alternative universe where the whites were the slaves.

 

BBC Pay

23rd July

 

So the list is out.  Some people get paid more than some other people.  NSS.

 

A lot of fuss is made over Gary Lineker, but Alan Shearer gets half a million.  Alan Shearer. 

 

The surprising ones for me are the radio personalities.  Most of the biggest paid are either radio or sport.  I always guessed John Humphries was on a fair whack, but Eddie Mair?  He is my favourite of the Radio Four presenters and loved him during his tenure on Broadcasting House and he's a source of joy on PM but £350,000?  Then there's Stephen Nolan.  Who?  And then there's Jeremy Vine...

 

And then there's the gender divide.  Women get paid less than men.  Again, NSS.

 

Listening to male presenters tie themselves in knots has been entertaining enough, but it can't have come as surprise to anyone that women get paid less than men.  The BBC is a phallocracy, anyone anywhere who has the least bit of power is male and they're going to keep it that way. 

 

If you're expecting the turkeys to vote for Christmas then you're naive.

 

Biker Gangs

22nd July

 

There was a story in the news the other day about a group of motorcyclists being refused service in a pub because they were bike riders.  The pub said that seeing motor bikes parked outside the pub would deter passing trade.  The bikers were all middle class, middle aged, white, heterosexual males.  It's probably the first time in their lives they'd been discriminated against.

 

The story reminds me of an incident when I was in a pub in Ipswich.  A group of bike enthusiasts the pub was segregated in that only the "right sort" of people were allowed in the posh side and the rest of us had to go in the barn.  A scuffle ensued resulting in the Landlord falling onto a stack glasses.  There was a lot of blood and he was taken away in an ambulance.  The police arrived and took statements, suspicious that everyone in the barn who wasn't the right sort.

 

The weird thing about this story is I have various different memories of it.  In some versions the man dies, in one I'm their Morris Dancing, in another it's group of Hell's Angels and yet another a group of elderly born again bikers, but they all feel like memories.

 

Does it matter that my memories are failing?

 

Oh God, yes.

 

HS2 Again...and again...again.

21st July

 

The final plans for HS2 are out.

 

There's going to be a spur going through Sheffield City Centre.  This will mean the demolishing of houses in Mexborough.

 

One of the voices on the radio, I think it was Doncaster councillor, if not the leader of the councillor said something very revealing.  He said "What is it with Sheffield?  They seem to get everything."  And that's the problem with the Sheffield City Region.  It's called the Sheffield City Region.

 

If you take the number of people living within the city boundaries who are on the electoral register as a measure of the size of a city, then Sheffield is the third biggest.  Other metropolitan areas accept the naming of the area after the largest metropolitan area.

 

I remember when parts of North East Derbyshire became part of Sheffield in the '70s.  The complaints and protests from the denizens of Chesterfield were massive and varied.  They saw the giant monster of Sheffield as taking over lovely little Chestefield.  In the end, it happened, basically with Dronfield becoming part of Sheffield, and no-one cared.

 

 

Whoess?

20th July

 

I assume that nobody reads my blog which makes it a wonderfully personal thing.  But if they were yesterday's headline might have been misleading.

 

I tuned in to the end of the tennis just to see if I could find out who the new doctor was.  The revelation was uninspiring.  59 seconds of a woman walking though a studio populated with false greenery.

 

Do I think there should be a female doctor?  No.  Like Bond, KIrk, Holmes and Spongebob Squarepants, the Doctor is male and while it's entertaining consider a female Sherlock Holmes (or Spongebob) it's a risky strategy to make the idea he kingpin of the new series.  Of course, I'll give it a go.

 

But what worries me most is the fact that the entire BBC production team is male.  It's written by men, directed by men, produced my men and of course the showrunner is male.  As a result the decision stinks of two things.  Firstly, viewing figures are dropping over the last couple of seasons and a female doctor might reverse that trend.  It's certainly generated millions of pounds worth of publicity for the show.  Secondly it smells a little of tokenism  Doctor who has had plenty of strong female characters and wouldn't it be better to raise the profile of one of those?

 

And how much are the paying her?  The same as Capaldi?  Tennant?  I very much doubt it.

 

It doesn't feel like a glass ceiling has been shattered.

 

Who?

19th July

 

At some point today I realised I didn't know who current head of OFSTED and education secretary were.  The old head of OFSTED was Michael Wilshaw.  I was once sitting in the waiting room of the chest clinic trying to make anagrams out of famous peoples names (and yes, I really do this shit) and I came up with Whimsical Whale.

 

I've been trying Justine Greening and Amanda Speilman and I've come up blank.  Even using the web the best I can do are see injuring gent and nasal mama pined  but I need to think about it more.

 

I came up with Seamy Hater or Eerie Asthma for Theresa May, but I'm nit happy with thise either.

 

While was trying to find out who were the current head of OFSTED and education secretary I found this story about Justine Greening

 

 

 

This a picture of Ms. Greening's red box.  A journalist had arranged to meet her for an interview and Ms. Greening decided to leave before the journalist got there.  In her hurry to avoid the interview she left her red box on her footpath.  In other times, this would be front page news, but today...Makes me think of this, which was front page news:

 

 

 

Pub Quiz

18th July

 

I set the quiz again this week.  Look at the pictures and see if you can guess the theme:

 

 

Scarface

Ocarina

Ian Carmichael

Madagascar

Brightside and Carbrook

Metacarpel

Cadbury's Caramel

 

That's right, it's Cars.

 

The Day The Law Died

17th July

 

I tried to write a quiz on the actual night but failed so had to fall back on one I'd pre-prepared.  The pub singer was "Cars" by Gary Numan.  I did it nearly as well as he did.

 

I've just realised that I didn't tell you why I was telling you the pigeons story (see 13th).

 

The first reason was that I found myself wearing my Avengers T-shirt.  Many of my old T-shirts still fit.  I've been re-reading The Day the Law Died.  The story is about Mad Judge Cal, a psychopathic leader (based on Caligula) who subjugates the population for his own benefit.  The first things he does is shuts down the media (he sends a robot Dredd to kill the editors of the Vidzines) and build a wall between the city and the Cursed Earth.  The wall isn't just to keep the muties out but keep the citizens in.

 

Remind you of someone?

 

But anyway, I was looking for my Day the Law Dies T-shirt and I found the Avengers T shirt I was wearing in the story.

 

Also, Toby Foster was discussing bizarre ways to get hurt.  One listener rang to say he had jumped off a lorry and landed on a sack barrow.  The handle had gone up his jaxxy.

 

"Oh God," said a woman in the studio.  "that makes me feel sick"

"It hasn't made me sick," said another one of the female presenters, probably Cat Cowan.  "But I have just clenched."

 

So have I Cat, so have I.

 

Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

16th July

 

I've talked about this show before and now it's over, they're all on YouTube

 

Episode 1

The impression of Kevin Rutter is fantastic

 

 

 

Episode 2

Theresa May.  What a f**kig monster.

 

 

Episode 3

Bit miserable this one.

 

 

 

Episode 4

Boyle on form, guests don't really do it

 

 

 

Tears for Souvenirs

15th July

 

After the shambles of the naughtiest thing she's ever done you'd have thought the Tories would have given up on the idea of making her look human.  She's not.

 

In case you're wondering the naughtiest thing she's ever done was run through a field of corn destroying a farmer's crop.  To be fair that's pretty naughty, criminal in fact.  Frankie Boyle said you could see she wanted to tell the truth - that she'd killed a tramp with a hammer - by looking in her eyes.

 

But now she's shed a tear.

 

Was it for the migrant children she denied entry to the country?  Was it for the thousands of nurses living n near poverty that she's denying a pay increase?  Is it for the millions of children whose futures she's wrecked by refusing to properly fund schools?  Is it for the old and infirm  who cannot get care because she cuts and cuts the social care budget

 

I could go on, but it's none of these things.

 

It's because the exit polls showed she'd lost her majority.

 

To quote Frankie Boyle again, you f**kig monster.

 

Threat

14th July

 

I'm starting to worry about North Korea firing  missiles into the pacific.

 

It's not that they now have the capability to reach China, Japan, Hawaii and Alaska.  It's not that they have the payload capacity to carry a reasonable size strategic nuke.  It's not that they're getting closer to launching that nuke.  It's not that they seem to have sufficient sheilding that the neuke won't burn up on re-entry.  It's none of those things.

 

If North Korea continue to fire missiles into the pacific, how long is it going to be before they wake up Godzilla?

 

If you watch Godzilla backwards it's about a giant lizard who helps rebuild a half burnt down city then moonwalks back into the ocean…

 

I use to have a poster on my wall on my wall when I was a student.  It had Godzilla sitting on a house while director Ishoro Honda showed him how to roar.  It reminded me of the silliness apocalyptic movie story lines.

 

There are times when I look at the state of the world.  Trump in America, Putin in Russia and Porky Pig in North Korea, and I wish it was some kind of movie.  But it's not.  It's the real world.  And it's the only one we've got.

 

Arse.

 

Pigeons

13th July

 

I had just moved into a new house and had booked a tai to get me into town because I didn't know where the buses went from.  As I was locking the door when something hit me on the back of the head.  It felt like someone had thrown a brick at me.  I looked round but I couldn't see anyone.  I got into the cab, but the driver refused take me.

 

My white Avengers (the Steed and Mrs Peel version) T shirt was covered in blood.

 

After some negotiation I got him to take me to the hospital.  The doctor there put a couple of stitches in ad said I'd been hit by a dead bird.  It had probably been flying along without a care in the world when Urrrrrk! it had a heart attack and fell from the skies and hit me in the head.  Apparently there were bits of beak and feathers embedded in my scalp.

 

Apparently it was incredibly common.  When the doctor heard I'd been locking the door,  he said it had probably been sitting on the roof rather than flapping, but I still think it's pretty unlikely, just another example of the things that happen to me.

 

Like the song says "Each little bird that falls".

 

Zero Hours

12th  July

 

The government's long awaited report on Zero Hour contracts came out yesterday.  It says that people in the Gig Economy are badly treated.  NSS.  it makes some recommendations about their pay and conditions but that's all they are.  It falls a long way short of of taking legal action against employers who, frankly, are taking the piss.

 

What it does say is that cash in hand must be made illegal.  All payments in the gig economy should be made electronically so that there is an audit trail and employees can be forced to pay taxes on the pittances they are earning.  Tezza, if you're listening, zero hours workers not paying their taxes is the least of your problems.  If you could get some of their employers (Uber, Amazon etc) to pay their taxes then perhaps you could persuade them to give their employees proper contracts.

 

 And there's nothing about Exclusivity clauses.  Most Zero Hour contracts have an exclusivity clause which prevent employees working elsewhere even if their employer isn't giving them any work.  They can't claim benefits because they are in work.  If they leave, they can't claim because they've been made voluntarily unemployed.  And the government loves this.  Thousands of people off the employment numbers and they and their cronies aren't paying anyone a penny.

 

Where's that in your report, Mr Taylor?

 

The only thing Mrs May could do to resolve this situation is to ban zero hours contracts, and that's never gong to happen.

 

 

Donny and the Ruskies

11th  July

 

How many more things can happen before the Republican Party and Fox News admit that their boy and his idiot offspring are liabilities?

 

So, it turns out that a Russian official sends Donnie Jr an e-mail that says they have some "obviously very high level and sensitive information" which is "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr Trump" .

 

Donnie sends back "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer" and just to make sure this turns into a shit storm he copies in  Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and his then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

 

Donnie's defence is pure Trump. He says she didn't give him the goods on Crooked Hilary!  Therefore he has done nothing wrong!  It's like saying he mugged someone but he did nothing wrong because the man he mugged only had 40p and £2.00 mobile with no credit on it.  Dickhead.

 

The irony of all this is that the e-mails were sent from an unsecured server, just the thing that made Trump and his supporters  chant "Lock Her Up" at Hilary Clinton.  Does no-one see the irony?  The Trump family doesn't.

 

But who cares.  Trump's not going to be impeached and if he is, he's not going to be removed from office.  Our only chance is that he steps down and that's not going to happen until he's met the Queen and shown her that he's better than she is.

 

Art of the Deal

10th July

 

Apparently, Donnie and Tessa have come to an agreement.

 

Donnie talked to that nice Mr Putin and found him to be great (or one of the other three adjectives in his vocabulary).  They had a private meeting where Donnie probably gave Vlad a blowie or at least asked Putin to pee on him.  I'm just waiting for Donne to tweet about it.

 

Donnie has promised us a trade deal as soon as we've come out of Europe.  There are no details of this deal, only that it will be "big" and "great".  Great.

 

If Tessa thinks this is her salvation, she is wrong.  Donnie will never let go of his "America First" policy and as stupid as he is, he realises how vulnerable Mrs May is.  He will take advantage in some gaudy, hideously mismanaged way.  If this is an example of TM's negotiating skills, heaven help us with the Brexit talks.

 

Oh, and apparently he's still coming to visit, next year some time.  Big.  Let's get the golden carriage ready and Queen Liz, get ready to have your pussy grabbed.

 

At least Tessa holds his hand.  Which is more than Melania does.

 

Sorry about the post, but I'm not feeling well.

 

Gangnam Style

9th July

 

The BBC doesn't understand the internet.  Every so often it announces an "internet sensation" or a video that has "gone viral".  The latest story from the website tells us of a video of a Barnsley Brass Band recreating the scene from Brassed Off where the band play outside Bert Postlethwaite's hospital room.  Their claims are that this has "gone viral".

 

But the fact is that I can't even find it on YouTube and the story says it has nearly 40,000 hits.

 

I remember when I first encountered Gangnam style.  A newspaper article on Psy seemed to think I knew all about it so I looked it up.  The catchy tune and quirky imagery suited me perfectly and I was hooked.  It manage to break YouTube which stored its ht counter in 16 bits.   Bang Ki Moon and President Obama sang with Psy.  At the time of writing it has 3 billion hits.

 

 

 

I also loved Klingon Style.

 

 

 

But now it's been superseded by this:

 

 

 

How?  It's border line unlistenable and the performance video is tedious.  Oh well, welcome to 2017.

 

Ties That Bind Us

8th July

 

The House of Commons has announced that it is no longer necessary to wear ties on the floor of the house.  It is the end of civilisation as we know it.

 

I always wear a tie at work primarily because I have loads of them.  I think it's safe to say I'm known for my ties.

 

I started buying and wearing weird ties as a minor act of iconoclasm.  Within a short period of time I had a reasonable collection of loud of not bizarre and soon became noted for them.  People often saw ridiculous ties and thought "I know who'd like that" and bought one for me.

 

Another source of ties is the Dead-Dad-Tie.  I'm at that age when my dad and my friend's dads have started to die.  When they clear out the house they find a small number of ties tucked away in the back of a drawer.  They know that they don't wear ties, but they know someone who does. To days later I get a small bag of Dead-Dad-Ties.

 

I've got a few knitted ties.  I used to knot them in Occupational Therapy I was ill.  When I was at primary school I made a number of tie-dye-ties.  THat says a lot about me.  When other ten year olds were tie-dying T shirts I was tie-dying ties.  Because I like the way it sounded.

 

I own so many ties that I've decided to try and go a year without wearing the same tie twice. And the sad thing is I'm likely to do it.

 

Your Daughter Took Drugs

7th July

 

Joana Burns and her friends paid £7 each for a tab of ecstasy. 

 

Then she died.

 

Her grieving parents have gone to the press.  The papers and the web are full of details of how she was a 'Wonderful young woman' who died at the painfully sad age of 22.  But the fact of the matter is this:

 

Your daughter took drugs.

 

I know that's hard to hear.  Thousands if not millions take recreational drugs every weekend and your daughter was one of them.  This does not make them flawed or weak.  It definitely doesn't make them evil.  It means they've made a choice.  Perhaps not a choice I would make or one her parents would want her to make.  Possibly a bad choice, but with all the information in front of her it was her choice to make.

 

Your daughter took drugs.

 

And it's no-one's fault.  Not her friends, not the Foundary, not the University and not the police.  But most of all, it's not your fault.  You did not fail her as parents.  She was 22 and a 'Wonderful young woman'.  But she made a choice.

 

Your daughter took drugs.

 

Then she died.

 

Sanctuary

6th July

 

For the last few weeks I've been watching Sanctuary.

 

I was a series I never really watched the first time round and I'm not really sure why.  It was a sort of sub-Buffy Urban Gothic with a tinge of League of Gentleman.  Also it featured Amanda Tapping and that's alway a good thing.

 

Sanctuary was noted for the fact that it was filmed almost entirely against a green screen with only props and some furniture actually real.  On the whole, the was flawless and in some cases (the holographic city for instance) dazzling.  A friend of mine commented on how although it was advanced for its time he thought the CGI, especially on some of the creatures, was clunky, but having watched the series recently it stands up to scrutiny and in some places is better, more organic than modern CGI.

 

The stories were well written, the characters likeable and the acting in front of the green screen well up to the task.  Not a classic but re-watching it has not been time wasted.

 

And it had Amanda Tapping.

 

Goodbye Barry Norman

5th July

 

Another day, another goodbye.  This time it's Barry Norman.

 

Through the 1970s and 1980s he presented Film XX which for me was largely unmissable.  We didn't often agree but his opinions were honest and genuine.  I had far more trust in him then I've ever had in Mark Kermode

 

One Christmas the BBC showed his Top Ten Films.   One of them was the Adam West Batman movie.  He pointed out the scene with the bomb and said West's attitude of "Every day I have bombs to get rid of and some days are harder than others" was genius.  I agree.

 

The number one choice was Casablanca, another point of agreement.  I taped it on Betamax with Bazza's comments and although I have it in other formats, I still have that one.

 

He hated the first Evil Dead film.  I remember him saying "if you've got the sort of sick mind that enjoys seeing a woman raped by a tree, then maybe you should see this film.  Personally, I don't have that type of mind and this film should never have been made".  He made the film unmissable.

 

Most of the obituaries used the phrase "knowledgeable and affectionate" and I think that's true.  He liked Star Trek too.

 

 

 

Goodbye Paddington

4th July

 

It's actually Michael Bond that died but it feels like Paddington.

 

Paddington was just nice.

 

I first encountered Paddington at school.  In Mrs Woodward's class we would have a story just before dinner.  She would read a book over a series of days if not weeks.  She read us the Wombles, Roald Dahl and Paddington.  I remember on one occasion she had to stop reading because she had seen what was coming and couldn't stop laughing.  This was the piece.  Paddington was helping Mr Curry put up some fence stakes.

 

Mr. Curry picked up a stake from a nearby pile and then pushed it firmly into the ground with both hands.

"Now," he said, "when I nod my head, you hit it."

For a moment Paddington looked at Mr. Curry as if he could hardly believe his ears and then, as the Browns' neighbor closed his eyes and began nodding his head vigorously to show that he was ready, he took a firm grasp of the mallet with both paws.

A moment later a yell of pain rang out round Windsor Gardens, echoing and re-echoing in and out of the buildings. Paddington jumped back in alarm and the mallet fell unheeded from his paws as, to his surprise, instead of looking pleased, Mr. Curry let go of the stake gave a tremendous yell.

 

When I was in secondary school, we were asked to write lyrics to a theme tune.  I chose Paddington.  My lyrics began "Bear, Bear, come out from where you are hiding".

 

I read a couple of the Pamplemouse books and although they were an easy read, they were vaguely unsatisfying.

 

Video

3rd July

 

 

 

I don't know what to say.

 

Trump clearly did not make this video himself.  Please tell me he didn't use the White House Press staff to do it.

 

Actually it probably came from one of the right-wing crap-fests he and his buddies take as truth.  You can see him sat in the Oval Office with Kerry-Ann and Steve showing him a video they have found.  After giggling for a couple of hours Trump decides to tweet it. Some say it's an incitement to violence, it isn't.  It's just another crass joke.

 

And he's got his travel ban, his care plan and they've started building his wall.

 

One Billion Pounds

2nd July

 

What could the government spend a billion pounds on?

 

The Not One More Day protest took place in London yesterday.  I saw a number of banners that just said "Homes, Jobs, Health, Schools" another said "No DUP, No sanctions, No more while another said Capitalism Kills. Organise To Fight Back. Justice For Grenfell. Safety For All." while a third had a picture of Jeremy Corbin riding a uniform.

 

A billion pounds would be a drop in theocean when it comes to dealing with these issues but it would be a statement of intent, a change in the direction of travel.

 

There's been no coverage in the news.  Of course not.  It was a peaceful demo against the Tory party and pro Jezza.  What's to cover?

 

But back to the billion.

 

There's about 5 million people employed in the public sector.  They could give them £200 each as a bonus, more if the people who don't need it don't take it.  The money would go straight back into the economy with many of them spending it on luxuries like food.

 

I know it's not going to happen, but when was the last time you saw a party leader on the unicorn?

 

The Information Super Carriageway

1st July

 

Writing about Julian Assange reminded me of my Steam Punk novel.  In it there is something called The Information Super Carriageway. 

 

It was invented by Sir Timothy Berners-Lee for the Centre for English Research into Nature (CERN).The original system existed purely within the CERN building in Geneva. This building was sited in Switzerland for fear of the potentially explosive nature of some of the experiments. It was felt thatany sort of big bang would be restricted to the banks of Lake Geneva and well away from the God fearing people of the British Empire.

This is a series of hollow vacuum tubes which allow cylinders to travel around the facility.  Tim Berners-Lee revolutionised the system by instituting a protocol for the transfer of these cylinders. The Hollow Tube Transfer Protocol or HTTP meant that could be expanded to cover the whole of the British Isles.

 

Part of this Information Super Carriageway is a server called Julian Fawkes-Assange who goes under the name "BritiLeaks'.  After one particulalrly contentious

 

This content was removed within minutes of its creation and the transcriptions described never appeared on the pages BritiLeaks.
The day following the posting of this page, its author, Julian Fawlkes-Assange had number of charges of impropriety brought against him, including Consorting with Whores and Behaviour Likely to Offend the Public Decency.
He went missing three days later and was never seen again.

 

They know how to do things in my Steam Punk world.

 

Presidential.

30th June

 

The Daily Show, Bill Maher and the President Show have taken a break this week and I've been too busy to keep an eye on Trump.  Until he tweeted this.

"I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore),".

and

"Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"

Crazy Mika then tweeted this:

 

 

Way to cease the high ground, bu at least they're not taking it tpp seriously.  But it's made me think.

 

What is Presidential?

 

When Trump was accused of giving the Ruskies classified secrets his defence was that he was the President, and if he said they were unclassified then they were.  As he is president then surely whatever he does is by definition Presidential.  I'm surprised his team haven't thought of this yet.  If they had, I'm sure we'd have heard.

 

Trump has nearly 33 million twitter followers.  What a world we live in.


Risk Assessment

29th June

 

For a short while I was a health and safety officer for the union.  My training taught me that there was very little in the way of legislation, but that everything is based around risk assessments.  The thinking was that it was impossible for legislation to cover every single dangerous activity.  This is basically a sound idea.  It means employers have to consider carefully the safety of their employees and in doing so they protect themselves against claims of negligence.

 

Today they announced that the former Chief Constable of South Yorkshire is to be charged with 97 counts of manslaughter.  Tribunals sat and sat and sat until the people of Liverpool got the right result.

 

So the Grenfell Fire will be like the Hillsborough disaster.  There will be an investigation and they'll find that Kensington Council performed their Risk Assessments in good faith.  The disadvantaged of the borough will demand a further hearing and these hearings will sit and sit and sit until some poor councillor is charged the manslaughter of 121 people.

 

It is a horrible, horrible accident

 

Without Shame

28th June

 

When talks with the DUP appeared to have stalled the other day I heard a disgruntled Tory MP say "THey're holding out for an A and E in every street".  His colleague corrected him "An A and E in every garden".  I honestly don't think I would have been more surprised is this had happened than I was when I read what the DUP had been given for its 10 votes.

 

One Billion Pounds.

 

I'll say that again.  One.  Billon.  Pounds.  The population of Northern Ireland is less than 2 million so that's at least 500 pounds per person.  Or 100 million pounds per vote.  One.  Hundred. Million.  Pounds.

 

And the thing is, no-one seems to be saying it is anything more than a bung.  The Tories don't seem to be commenting on it.  This morning I heard several different new programs and no-one from the government appeared to defend it.  The only person who tried was Ian Duncan Smith who appeared to be defending his loyalty to the party rather than the billion pound bung and he didn't manage either.

 

I don't care who the DUP are, what Old Testament crap they believe in or the violence they support, what I care about is my country. 

 

And buying votes at 100 mill a throw is not something my country does.

 

Assange

27th June

 

Julian Assange has appeared on my radar a couple of times over the past few days.

 

The first was a radio documentary by his ghost writer.  I got several things from this.  First;y, he is not confined to his embassy.  He is tagged and within the limits of his curfew can move around freely.  Secondly, it's still costing us millions to allow him to stay on British soil.  Thirdly, he's not a very nice man.  You could see that the ghost, Andrew O'Hagan wanted to like Assange but found he just couldn't.  One headline said "He was an ardent wikileaks supporter and then he met Julian".

 

The overwhelming feel from the program was Assange was a man with absolutely no sense of responsibility.  He regularly said one thing and did another.  He did not meet any of his commitments regarding his autobiography and frequently let down those closest to him.

 

The second was Pamela Anderson's appearance on 8 out of 10 cats.  They kept making sideways references that she was shagging Julian Assange.  I've looked it up on the internet and it seems to be true.  This sounds like the plot of the kind of film Ms. Anderson is making these days.  A government super traitor seeks sanctuary in the embassy of a foreign power.  He is lured out by the irresistible charms of leather clad super agent Pammy Mamoria lures him out of the embassy and returns him to justice.

 

I wonder if he wore a condom.

 

UK Satire

26th March

 

I wrote the other day about how how I've been watching a lot US satire and that UK satire doesn't come close.  This isn't entirely true.

 

The News Quiz

Miles Jupp has given this a new lease of life and the old hands like Jeremy Hardy and Andy Hamilton are as sharp as ever.

 

Have I Got News For You

Although in it's 53rd series, it still raises a smile.  The over reliance on youtube and social media just mimics what's happening in the rest of the media.

 

The Fake News Show

Again, raises a smile, but isn't the finished product.  Stephen Mangham makes a fitting host and although I like Katherine Ryan she seems to on everything at the moment.

 

8 out of 10 Cats

Again raised a smile.  The new team Captains should appeal to the young but don't always appeal to me.

 

The problem with all these shows is that unlike their US counterparts they're not allowed political bias, so pride of place has to go to Frankie Boyle's New World Order.  I know I shouldn't laugh out loud at this but I do.  It's not really a case of bias, it's just Boyle railling against those who run the world.  To give you an example, this weeks proposition to be discussed was "Theresa May has been given a strong mandate to f**k off".  His impression of Paul Rudder and his cliff based Theresa May analogy have to be heard to be believed.

 

Trumpton

25th March

 

Writing about Brian Cant has reminded me of Trumpton.

 

I remember being told when I was young that Windy Miller was called Windy because he lived in a windmill and nand not because he was faltulent.  The fact that he lived in Trumpton was mere coincidence.

 

I remember that the boys of Trumpton Fire Station never used a hose or attended a fire because it was too difficult to animate.  Captain Dlak knew this and played on it.

In the episode "Rag and Bone Man" Chippy Minton's saving end up on top of the municipal bonfire.  THe fire brigade were called leading Captain Flak to say enthusiastically "A fire? a real fire?" then with huge disappointment  "Oh, it hasn't been lit yet.  We'll be right round."

 

In the episode "Miss Lovelace and the Mayor's Hat" the Mayor's hat get stuck in a tree.  The Firemen are arrive to rescue it and start to get out the hoses.  Captain Flak tells them "Not the hosepipes lads.  We want to rescue the mayor's hat not wash it."

Oh, and there is this.

 

 

 

US Satire

24th March

 

I've been watching a lot of the US satire programs.  Maybe it's because American politics have gone so nuddley under Trump and they've got so much to have a go at, but the quality has been superb.

 

The Daily Show

I used to tune into this on a regular basis but found it a bit too PC and a bit preachy.  Als some of the different segments were a bit hit or mis.  THese days, there's no time for segments, Trump Keeps them too busy. Trevor Noah was an inspired choice and the take on Trump is excellent.

 

Last Week Tonight

Since I discovered this, it's been unmissable.  John Oliver has the right tone and his views are perfectly alligned with my own.  Some of the segments are inspired and perfectly targetted.

 

Bill Maher

Although he's just blotted his copy book and seems obsessed by this in the way that Lenny Bruce became obsessed with his court cases.  The opening dialogue and "New Rules" are often as thought provoking as they are funny.

 

The President Show.

Anthony Atamanuik's Trump is almost hypnotic to watch, but the biggest laughs come when he actually talks sense.  It also has something of a dark side.

 

The sad thing is I'm hard pressed to find British equivalents.

 

Queen's Speech

23rd June

 

When I first saw this advertised I thought that this was the story of Queen Victoria's previously undisclosed speech impediment which she had cured by  an antipodean ventriloquist or a weird version of the King's Speech featuring drag acts.

 

This was a Queen's Speech like no other.

 

Queenie wore a hat and coat instead of robes and a crown and turned up in a posh taxi instead of a coach.  Charlie held her hand because Phil the Greek is poorly (nothing to worry about there apparently) There's going to be no speech next year a fact which I'm sure make the Queen happy.  Having said that lots of people think there's going to be an election before that.

 

There was some controversy over Jezza not bowing, but it turns out you're not supposed to and it was Tezza who got it wrong.  She can't get anything right, even deference to the Queen.

 

The speech was also missing many things from the Tory Manifesto.  Grammar Schools, Dementia Tax, Fox Hunting, Trump Visit, Winter Fuel Payments, Triple Lock and Mental Health Nurses.  The Queens speech is supposed to address all the issues in the Manifesto.  Another thing she's got wrong.

 

The Queen had a nice hat tho'.

 

Brain Cant

22nd June

 

Kids today don't realise that there didn't use to be daytime television. 

 

There were two exceptions.  At 11.00am there was Play School and at 1.00pm there was Watch With Mother.  This continued into the 80s.  When I was in hospital I was addicted to Postman Pat.

 

Play School was a school for Pre-School children.  I genuinely learned to tell the time through Play School which had "The big hands on four and the little hands on six meaning it's half past four".  Among the presenters was Brian Cant, a fatherly big brother or a brotherly father figure.  He had a fixed grin and just the hint of naughty school boy.

 

He also voiced Trumptonshire Trilogy (Trumpton, Chigley and Camberwick Green) giving voice to so many famous characters (Windy Miller, Captain Flak and Willie Munn) and it's memorable songs (Time flied by when I'm the driver of a train).  He was also the voice of the Herbs (Dill the Dog and a very friendly lion called Parsley).  The herb garden opened when you said the magic word "Herbidacious" which became my most dreaded nick name "Kirbidaceous".

 

He also wrote, produced and directed Play Away, a sort of twenty minute Pantomime every week.  When I was young, I got many of the jokes I told from Play Away.

 

Kids today don't know what they're missing.

 

Ken Clarke

21st June

 

After the 2015 General Election, Tory Grandee  Ken Clarke wasn't going to stand at another one.  After a snap election was called by Therea May he changed his mind.  Although Clarke officially served under Thatcher in reality, Thatcher served under Clarke and his ilk.  He was an Old Tory (note the caps) and ruled the country for the benefit of the rich.  And this was the real rich, the old money, not the yuppy princes his own party artificially created.

 

In Friday's Any Questions Ken Clarke was asked what he thought of John McDonnell's call for one million people to take to the streets to in support of Labour's anti-austerity message and force May’s resignation and yet another election.  Clarke went on a five minute riff on how deplorable it was that McDonell should make such a demand after dozens of people had died in the Grenfell Tower disaster.  Eventually Dimbleby interposed and told him that that McDonnell had made the call days before the fire.

 

It just shows how Clarke works.  Ill-informed about the news if he doesn't control the agenda and more willing to take a pop at the opposition than discuss the real issues.  Out of touch with both Zeitgeist and Reality.

 

But in the modern Tory party, he's a actually a voice for reason.

 

OMG.

 

There's Been Another...

20th June

 

There's been another Terrorist attack

This is not a right wing extremist attack.  This is just some nutter who is full of hate and the wheels of ban.  This is a racist attack by an angry nutter.  The closest he's ever come to an act of political rebellion.

 

Two things I haven't noticed is any of the media coverage

I haven't seen anyone contacting random white people and demanding they denounce the actions of one of their number

I haven't seen Trump tweeting that this is what you get if you have a white leader

To use Mr T's own words, sad.

 

Father's Day

19th June

 

Father's day is hard for me.

 

There came a time in my late teens that I started saying "What I want from my life is a nice job, a nice house, a nice wife, 2.4 children and a stupid looking dog".  I didn't know how this was going to happen, I just thought it would and I embraced it.  Implicit in this was the fact that I was going to be a father.

 

Then came testicular cancer.

 

After that I no longer had any surety about where my life would go.  I was (and am) OK providing life just kept going somewhere.  The treatment left me sterile and I'm sure this fact influenced many of my life choices.  Whatever, I never became a father.

 

Father's day became worse on the death of my Dad.  I didn't realise how close we were until that point.  He was always there and always there for me.  I miss him so much.

 

All this loss is focussed on Father's Day.

 

DUP

18th June

 

I know very little about the DUP other than their the sort of political wing of various Loyalist Terrorist groups.  Unlike Sein Fein and the IRA, there is no direct link between the DUP and the UDF, UFF and UVA, in fact they oficially denounce any form of terrorism.  But there is no political wing of the Loyalist Terror groups.

 

It's been well publicised that the DUP are homophobic, misogynist, anti-catholic right wing fundamentalists and not the people you would hope to old the balance of power, but the fact is they do.  The major risk is to the fragile peace in Northern Island and the moment it looks like the Tories have Kow-Towed to the DUP, the IRA will be digging up their supplies of SEMTX and be putting the firing pins back in their SMGs.

 

The Good Friday Agreement will be at an end.  I know it came under Blair's Tenure but a it brought a workable piece to the North.  Mo Mowlam must be turning in her grave.

 

Of course, it's not the DUP that May has to worry about.  Their demands are the least of her problems.  She's more likely to end up in it up to her knees (head down) because of the demand of her fractured party and irrational power held by her back benchers.

 

Sleepy Hollow

17th March

 

So farewell Icabod Crane and Sleepy Hollow.

 

When I was young, Disney had a program on Saturday Nights, I think it was called "The World of Disney".  It had live action and documentaries which were often interminably boring, but every now and again they would have a cartoon.  These were generally brill and one I've never forgotten is THe Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  My physics teacher looked like Ichabod Crane.

 

The first three series of this were on Fox and I nearly missed the last one because it cropped up on SyFy.

 

The series was deeply flawed but ultimately quite enjoyable.  The main strength was Tom Mison's Ichabod which owed more to Rip Van Winkle (also by Washington Irving) than "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".  He was generally likeable and did confused, knowledgeable, honourbound and loyal quite well.  The only problem was that despite being a Brit playing a Brit, he always came across as a Yank playing a Yank.

 

One of the things that the series was noted for was the bizarre cross over with Bones.  They didn't work for either product.

 

The main problems were the pseudo historical accuracy, the use of 20th century vernacular in the 18th century segments and fact that because it was a TV production, they could never go to far with the horror so the whole thing became a bit disposable.

 

Still, I watched it all and can't say I didn't enjoy it.

 

Baywatch

16th March

 

Warning :  Spoilers.

 

I said the other day I haven't seen a bad film recently but I haven't seen a great one.  THat's still true, but this is the closest to a bad one this summer.

 

The problem lies in the fact that this is in no way Baywatch, it an early noughties gross out movie.  There's lots of swearing and general rudeness which would never have found its way to TV.  THe two biggest gags are the fat kid getting his erection caught in a deck chair and Zac Effron being trapped into playing with a corpses penis.  Honest.

 

And because of this any attempt at giving the story's other themes (redemption, family) attention can never be successful.

 

I remember watching Noel's House Party in the Eighties.  There was a segment called NTV where they cut to the feed from a hidden camera inside someone's TV.  When they switched to one guy he went deathly white. 

 

"You didn't see what I was doing during Baywatch?" he asked nervously.

 

After he'd finished laughing Noel assured him he was fine.

 

And I suppose that's the point.  The humour in the NTV incident was realised when you worked out what had happened.  In this movie there is no subtlety at all.

 

But that's not entirely a bad thing.

 

Feure Frei

15th June

 

Another broken sleep and another night when I switch on the new to hear the newsreader presenting casualty figures.

 

I've deliberately avoided any footage of people leaping from the buildings or people trying to create parachutes from bin bags or throwing their children towards potential rescuers.  Watching the Tower ablaze and knowing that people are dying is enough without putting faces to the dying.

 

At least this time it's not because of some terrorist act.  Actually, as I type, I'm just assuming that.  I've written in the past about my surprise that terrorists don't use arson as a weapon and the three nutters in Borough Markets did have Molotov Cocktails on them.  I'm assuming this is a freak accident, hoping in fact.  Because if anyone has started this, either deliberately or by accident then there is no deity in the pantheon that can help them.

 

The main culprits seems to be negligent owners.  Much has been said already about the panels that were used to tart up the building.  These had a core polyethylene instead of the less flammable alternatives.  These tiles had the same fire prevention rating as unprotected wood and it's generally accepted that they shouldn't be used above 10m.

 

One thing I've not seen anywhere is the effect Ramadan would have had on the fire.  The fire broke out shortly after midnight, which itself was shortly after dusk.  This may have meant more people were up preparing meals and so had a better chance of escaping or perhaps more people were visiting the Tower to share communal meals.

 

Whatever the case there will be many people in that part of the world who think their god has deserted them.

 

Adam West

14th June

 

So it's farewell, to Adam West, the Batman of my youth.

 

I've always been a big fan of Batman and it began with the Greenway Productions Batman of the sixties.  The first Birthday Party I can remember I had a Batman Birthday cake.  Well, I had a cake with the Corgi model of West's car dunked in the icing.

 

I broke all my milk teeth playing at Batman.  I was wearing a balaclava backwards running round shouting "Na-na-na-na-na-na-na BATMAN!!!" when I tripped and fell over with my mouth open on the concrete doorstep.

 

I remember the rubber shark in the movie but the ultimate Batman moment has to be in the Cat and the Fiddle.  Batman and Robin have escaped from some impossible situation and Batman asks the question I always wanted to ask.

 

Batman: "Haven't you noticed how we always escape the vicious ensnarements of our enemies?"

Robin: "Yeah, because we're smarter than they are!"

Batman: "I like to think it's because our hearts are pure."

 

The same episode contains the following dialogue too.

 

Robin: "You can't get away from Batman that easy!"

Batman: "Easily."

Robin: "Easily."

Batman: "Good grammar is essential, Robin."

Robin: "Thank you."

Batman: "You're welcome."

 

So long, Adam.

 

Welcome Back Tobes

13th June

 

For the last few weeks in have been listening to music in the car.  This has been for two reasons:

I've been trying to avoid too much election news

Toby Foster has been missing from the radio.

I'm not always a fan of Foster but, but most mornings he will say something that makes me laugh and that's not a bad way to start the day.  And he's a darn sight better than Paul Walker.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a massive fan of Alan Partridge but three hours a day?  That's pushing the gag too far.  Where Tobes has been has been a matter of much debate

He's been arranging a rock concert in Wentworth

He has been working on a secret project with Peter Kaye

He's had some elective surgery

He was sacked for offensive tweets

The BBC had decided his "biased and bullying" presenting style wasn't suitable for local radio.

I think the truth is somewhere between the last two.  I think he made a party political tweet and someone from another party complained and Tobes was suspended until after the election (he came back the day after).

 

But that doesn't explain the selection Paul Walker who has the sensitivity and insight of a 1970's PE Teacher.

 

 

Predictions

12th June

 

I have made a number of predictions since the election.

Mother Theresa will be in situ until the she's done the dirty work for the people who really hold power in this country.

Some of Theresa's allies will become collateral damage, especially the shady advisors and Amber Rudd

Bugger the nutters in the DUP, it's her own backbenchers she needs to worry about.  They got the country into this mess in the first place and without an overall majority they will make their demand known.

The pro-Tory press are going to tie themselves in knots over this but they're going to continue to push for Brexit.

The alliance with the DUP will fail at the first hurdle even if they do get seats on the cabinet

There won't be a second election, the Tories are too scared of losing it.

Jezza will invite some of the party members back from the wilderness to the front bench in the hope of keeping party together

Some of these things have already happened and I think the others are safe bets.  But I never thought Michael Gove would be back on the front bench.

 

Jesus H Christ Bareback on a Horse.

 

Wonder Woman

11th June

 

Warning:   Here be spoilers.

 

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.  My favourite of the MCU franchises is Captain America and this is female version of that.

 

Gal Godot makes a great superhero.  She works both as Diana Prince and Wonder Woman and presents the other worldliness of the character well.    But the main thing is she gets the physicality right.  When she lifts a tank it seems both real and effortless.  If a woman (or man for that matter) could jump over a church, that's what it would like.  Above all, she's likeble.

 

I seem to remember Wonder Woman could fly but I'm not sure.  She had an invisible plane but that got blown up in the Lego Movie.

 

The whole thing is little twee and predictable.  Love conquers hate  is a bit anachronistic (there again the film is set in World War One).   And if there was anyone who didn't guess who Ares was then I envy them their naivety.

 

Oh, and one last thing, Chris Pine can't really act.  He gives axactly the same performance here as he does as Kirk, slightly confused by it all.

 

I haven't seen a bad film so far this year, but I haven't seen a great one either.  Wonder Woman came closest.

 

Closed Door Comey

10th June

 

According to the BBC website James Comey didn't bury Donald Trump in his Senate testimony, but he dug a Trump-sized hole in the ground.

 

Of his firing he said the president and his staff defamed him and, more importantly, the FBI as a whole and of the stuff about the FBI being in disarray he said "Those were lies, plain and simple,"

 

He said Trump tried to draw a pledge of loyalty from him and begged for him to go easy on Flynn.  He said Trump demanded assurances that he, Trump, was not under investigation.  At one point he described a meeting where "I didn't move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed."  That must have been some meeting..

 

But the most interesting stuff was missing.  On many occasions Comey said that it was inappropriate to discuss these matters in open session.

So this case still revolves around the fact that we still don't know what happened in a behind closed doors meeting with James Comey.

 

I hope there's a recording.

 

Or at least he took notes.

 

Yay!

9th June

 

I was late home after feeding a friend's cats and intended to vote, have a pint and pick up some fish and chips.  Instead, I fell asleep on the sofa and ended up rushing out to vote.  I came home and microwaved some kebab meat only to find I was out of wraps.

 

I made a flask of tea and tool my bowl of meat, salad and garlic mayo to bed.  My idea was lay on the bed and if I fell asleep fine and if wanted a cuppa, I didn't have to get up and make it. I watched the reporting on the exit polls but didn't believe it and within seconds, I was asleep.  I awoke about midnight and they were still predicting a hung parliament.

 

The tea in the flask tasted weird so I got up and made another (ironic, eh?) and watch Frankie Boyle thing which made me laugh out loud (especially the Paul Nutall impression) then went back to bed.

 

But I couldn't sleep.

 

The thing was my brain was waiting for that moment when it fell apart, that there would be a sudden improvement in the Tories fortunes and I would wake up to the grinning lip-sticked robot and. her plans for a divided Britain.

 

But it didn't come.  Around 2.45pm it came through the Nasty Nick was out and my brain was willing to accept the night wasn't going to be a disaster.  I finally fell asleep, still clutching my flask.

 

Alright, we didn't win, but the thing is, I'd forgotten what it feels like to feel good about an election result.  General elections, Brexit and Trump all left me feeling as low as a dachshunds nipples.  To wake up feeling Yay! on a polling day has become far too rare an experience.

 

Ok, so we didn't win.

 

But it feels like we did.

 

Well Fought

8th June

 

This is how the Corbin thing should work.

 

Traditional Labour voters should always vote Labour and Corbin's appeal should be enough to attract the young and the disenfranchised.  The combination of the two should be enough to put Labour in power.

 

But the problem is the Traditional Labour voters can be led by the media into thinking that Corbin is Satan (one said to me that he was worse than Hitler).  They then decide they can't possibly vote Labour any more and although they find the everything about the Tories despicable, they move to them. It doesn't make sense, but it's what happens.

 

Traditional Tory voters will vote Tory whatever.  Theresa May could use a lawn strimmer on Kittens with have Hail Satan tatooed on her forehead and she wouldn't lose a vote from her party.  So long as the tatooist wasn't a foreigner.

 

When Corbin was up for the leader of the party I said I wanted him in place but I thought te press would hammer him.  Jezz has got past much of this of dealing with public directly.  You can tell people what to think as much as you like When he does a leaders' debate, they can't edit that.  They can spin it as much as they like but people have seen what they have seen.

 

So whatever happens tomorrow, I have to say this.

 

Well fought Mr Corbin, well fought.

 

Not Again

7th May

 

I was driving back from the cinema (Wonder Woman) when I put the radio on.  It was the news when it shouldn't have been the news and I knew what had happened.

 

It was eight minutes between any activity being referred to the police and the three attackers lying dead on the pavement.  They were wearing fake suicide vest.  There was only ever going to be one outcome.

 

Can I just remind people that these are not ISIS sponsored terrorists, they are pissed off man things running riot, no different to the football hooligans who ruck because "referees hate United".   The difference is that a small number of people can cause a disproportionate level of death and destruction with it's accordant pain and suffering for those left behind.  I often think these acts are more like serial killing than pseudo politco-religious activities. 

 

There are plenty of pictures of people holding on to their pints and the guy who is going back to pay his bill.  And this is the way to deal with it.  If some nutter stabs a bouncer outside a pub on a Saturday night, there's no reduction in traffic next week and as sad as it is for the bouncer and his family, society moves on.

 

Dave's Theory

6th May

 

I have lots of theories when it come to politics

 

Years ago it was my theory that it was the unrelenting overly personal attacks on Tony Blair ( remember the Devils eyes poster?) that eventually wore down the public.  The Tories went too far and the public stopped believing it.  Blair got in.

 

When Diane Abbot is mocked by a Tory bullyboy and it's repeated time after time, the media forget that they're also repeating the fact that Labour are promising an extra 8000 police.

 

Now I don't believe for a moment that Corbin and the Labour party have got a chance in tomorrows election

 

They also went with the "safe and secure" line when anyone could see that calling a snap election is neither.

 

Alien: Covenant

5th May

 

This was a scary movie.

 

Don't get me wrong, I quite liked Prometheus but it had nothing that made the original Alien films great.  It didn't have the scale of Aliens or the Haunted House feel of Alien but it was competent.

 

Covenant has gone back to what the originals did well.  It's basically a remake of the original with a few bits bolted on to make it fit in as part of the Prequel trilogy.  The monsters are scary, the Xenomorphs are back.  Oddly, the CGIs look less convincing of the guy in the rubber suit.  The little xenomorph actually looks quite cute.

 

Michael Fassbinder as David and Walter is creepy even if the ending is a little predictable.

 

One review said This may not be a movie that reinvents the wheel. But it’s one that knows how to make it roll.  Too true.

 

So long, Roy

4th May

 

I've spent most of the evening watching Cissie and Ada on YouTube.  Here are two of my favourites.

 

    

 

While much of it is based around Les Dawson, none of the sketches would have worked without Roy Baraclough.

 

Baraclough was a straight man as well as a great comedy actor in his own right.  He came from that rep tradition of jobbong actors who would do you a job no matter what the role.  There was nothing precious about him.

 

One thing, many of the videos have had sharing blocked.  It would be a fantastic time to release a DVD of Cissie and Ada.  I know there's problems with copyright because they worked for Auntie Beeb an ITV, but If they could do it for the Goodies surely they can do it for Cissie and Ada.

 

Covfefe

3rd June

 

 

So, a sad old man falls asleep while tweeting and the web goes wild.  I looked at the Urban Dictionary as is my wont when I don't understand a modern word.  My favourites include:

 

Covfefe is the once secret name of an ancient tentacle monster that white supremacists fornicate with. The name was leaked to the public when Donald Trump, well known leaker of classified info, tweeted while relieving his arousal upon its girth. In the throes of passion, Trump cried out the name of his lover mid-tweet, EJACULATING IT INTO CYBERSPACE!

 

A "covfefe" is what happens when you are taking a violent dump while trying to type "coverage", then briefly convulse before dropping your phone in the toilet..

 

When your wife slaps your hand away from the keyboard, mid-tweet!

 

F**k it, I give up.

 

Click here for the rest.  Some of them made me laugh out loud, as did this:

 

 

So, a sad old man falls asleep while tweeting and the web goes wild.  Does it really matter?  Of course it does!  He's President of the United States.

 

Mrs May

3rd June

 

I have a number of theories about politics and here's the one about why Mother Theresa called a snap election and what the outcome would be.

 

One of the major problems that schools have at the moment is young heads who just wanted to be heads.  They had no idea what it involves being a head but that's what they wanted.  They have always performed well and always had someone else to allocate and check their work and pat them on the head when they've done well.  Now they're in charge and there's no=one above them and suddenly they cave in under the responsibility.  Suddenly, they want an exit strategy a way of being free of the responsibility without losing face.

 

Theresa May is like one of those heads, she's got to the top and doesn't like it.  She's indecisive (how long did it take to tell us what "Brexit menas Brexit" meant?) and she flip flops (tax then don't tax white van man, remain then brexit, cap then no cap).

 

So I think she came up with a plan.

 

Call a snap election.

 

If she wins, she'll have enough backing to do whatever comes into her head.   If she has a narrow majority, she can gracefully resign and it all becomes someone else's problem.  Lose - not going to happen.

 

All this, and she gets a months to spend telling people what a good little girl she is.

 

Surprise, Surprise

 

So Corbin wrong footed May by turning up a the debate.   He gave a good account of himself and won battle between him and May by default.  Homer Simpson once said that De-Faultwere the two greatest words in the English language.

 

The other leaders tore into May but to his credit, Corbin didn't harp on it.  He let the others Tim Farron do it.  Here's a couple of classics.

“Where do you think Theresa May is tonight? Take a look out your window. She might be out there sizing up your house to pay for your social care,”

“Amber Rudd is up next. She is not the prime minister. The prime minister is not here tonight. She can’t be bothered. So why should you. In fact Bake Off is on BBC Two next. Why not make yourself a brew? You are not worth Theresa May’s time, don’t give her yours.”

Amber Rudd was embarrassingly poor, derided the other panellists and the audience.  I think she thought people were laughing with her.  Sorry Amber, they were laughing at.  The Tories say the audience was biassed.  No they weren't, you just didn't turn up.

 

So Labour are gaining in the polls, but is it enough?

 

No.

 

Another Lone Nutter

1st June

 

So it's starting to look like the Manchester Bomber was another lone nutter.  Perhaps Trump was right when he called him a loser (but really, is that the best POTUS can offer?)

 

The evidence is he planned it himself, bought the materials himself, built the bomb himslef, got himself to the gig and blew himslef up.

 

It's always been a mystery why organised groups of terrorists don't poison the water supply, blow up schools or bomb electricity pylons.  Three things stop them, fear of getting caught (anyone could catch you setting a bomb at an electricity pylon), the threat of overkill, the threat of overkill (will anyone support a group that has killed a thousands of people) but also (and I'd like to believe this) that although their moral compass is distinctly warped they still have a compass and they draw the line somewhere (yes, I know, you draw lines with a ruler not a compass).  They don't target children.

 

Oh, wait.

 

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