Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Monday, November 24, 2003

Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (2003)
Mike Myers: the next Eddie Murphy.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Do not ask for whom the bell dongs, it dongs for you...
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Just following up last week's wasteland with a bit of Prufrock...
The Alien Online - Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror News, Reviews, Articles and more...

An article on the caterer, a comic no-one I know will ever have read, or will read. But sounds great. (I wasn't going to blog this, cos I found it on someone else's blog, but I was listening to Ian Dury, and I was sure he was shouting 'Blog it' - not a psychotic episode, as much as I was hoping, just a track called 'Blockheads'...)

Friday, November 21, 2003

Wired 11.12: CodeFellas
Daft Fucker

Sorry to say, but that's the only response to this Wacko Jacko feller - John Walker asks "Mr Jackson, did you not explicitly state in 1987, that you were 'bad'?" I prefer to think of him as a sacrificial hero - we build these people up to replace our heroes of old, and then we knock them down, like we did the sacrificial sun king when his year's reign was up, we dig around until we find a flaw in our heroes and then take infinite pleasure in reminding thme that it's the mob that's always in charge.

I don't like the guy; I think he's been manipulated, abused, and so on, yet I think he's been an arrogant shmuck and don't see a reason to forgive a man his flaws just because they've got causes. He's done something wrong and it's something we think contrary to the maintenance of society as commonly conceived (and something we seem to have as the greatest evil currently available, worse than the taking of a life, the wrecking of one, but that's a different story...) and in our society that requires punishment.

Though, as John says, he'll buy his way out, the poor shmuck, and end up even more in hock to his managers and insudtry associates...

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

2 Deep Purple CDs survived shuttle crash Smoke on the Water? Down to Earth? Machine Head?
OWOS Bush Virtual March

In case you want to protest against Bush, but can't be arsed leaving your computer, try this site...

Sunday, November 16, 2003

The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot as hypertext

How poetry should be presented; utterly wonderful - but skip to Death by Water, Eliot's take on Blake.
Big Robot

Friends, visit this site - fulsome praise will do no good, as it's written by friends. Worth a shufti though...

Saturday, November 15, 2003

The Space Marine’s gaze is straightforward, straight-ahead and resolute. There’s not an inch of his body that lacks determination, not a quavering muscle on a limb. The eyes are flat, and stay flat as a frame edges into view, a black frame surrounding a black pupil twice the width of the Marine’s head, a giant white-flecked brush reaching for the Marine...
From the next room comes a tremulous wail, “I hate old women!” Kieron applies the white highlight to the model’s head, and straightens up as Dan walks in the room, clutching what looks like a mung bean in his hand. “I was just stood in the queue at the butchers, eyeing the breaded crumbed dehydrated-rehydrated ham, when the old ‘dear’ in front of me, orders something called a Bath Chap. I ask what it is, and she assures me it’s very nice with salad, dear. After that pitch from someone who lived through rationing, from someone with less teeth than Kojak’s comb, I bought it.”
‘Is that what the smell is’ asks Ron, a finely picked nostril falling back under the twin offensives of varnish and stench.
‘That? No, that’s the Stinking Bishop, some Nazi cheese that wants to be an acid, that some malicious friend told me was nice. You’d think I’d learn from the name’s tis not meant to be eaten. The, Bath Chap’s the pile of mouldering flesh in the kitchen bin, what I dug this tooth out of.’ Holds up said canine with disgusted look. “Guess I should listen when people say we don’t waste anything round here.” Flicks tooth into bin.
“Cuh,” says Ron, and his beplasticked eye follows the tooth’s arc as it sinks towards the bin, and thinks about how that’d look really cool in his latest diorama…

Monday, November 10, 2003

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Homosexual Necrophilia in Mallards
Would that the case were as outlandishly jarring as the title. Reported in Rotterdam.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Cooks.com | Recipe | BOILING AN EGG Stumbled across whilst looking for a recipe for kippers. Gawped. Chuckled. Blogged. Your turn.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Star Trek: Patterns of Force My god. This happened?

Monday, October 20, 2003

Just found out the reason I thought my flat's heating was crap was that it wasn't on. The underfloor stuff was all switched off at the mains...No wonder I haven't been able to get up in the mornings...
Woody's Starbust Memories Woody sells out. He's a man after my heart after all. It'll cost him though...

Friday, October 17, 2003

~*~ Secret Diaries ~*~ Embarassingly old and camp, but also hilarious diaries of various parties to The Lord of the Rings

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Urban Legends Reference Pages Irritating regular pop-ups, but a quality site.
U.S. Department of the Treasury Auctions

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Rotten Library
The site itself is sicker than Mother Teresa's anaemic pussy, but the library has a wealth of useless shit.
Fascinating reading. People actually behave like this without ethical qualms, or concern for the feelings of strangers. And we wonder why we have wars if people can treat other people as objects.
Mobsters use double decker coffins.
The real story behind Roy and Montecore Watch the video (if you have the bandwidth), the man's plastic face is fascinating, and his justification of why Montecore bit through his master's artery, without quite killing him, has to be heard. Especially if you own cats.
Molester Attacked By His Victim At County Jail: From The Tampa Tribune It's a wierd world. Especially if you spell Wierd like that.
Pound of flesh in slay plot He charges extra for fatties apparently.
Siberia find revives yeti legends
Suspected penis snatcher beaten to death in Gambia
Many soldiers, same letter The US army's propaganda machine grinds a little forward again...
BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Serbia wedding guests 'down plane'
Four dead in foiled burgluary An Acupuncture specialist in Italy kills two, wounds two, after hairdresser robbery goes wrong.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Monday, September 29, 2003

We buried my gran today. I've got an image stuck in my head of the ground peeled back sardine-can style, all fake turf and stuff just rolled out of the way, and her coffin sat at the bottom like an under-resolution cigar. There's a green field about her stock-full of tombstones (a nice selection of canadians blown up by a nearby ammo-dump), and a white marble church set against trees and a blue sky. Very traditional. She's in there, beneath the ground, and all I want is to say goodbye to her, but it grabs my tonsils with all these strangers about.

It was a really strange day; I think I loved my gran, but I don't think I knew her in any way. I've mentioned before she couldn't understand a word I said; but it seems that to everyone else she never stopped nattering; I had people coming up to me all afternoon, saying 'she was a great gossip, she told us all about you' and so on. Made me feel even more like a sociopath than usual. Especially on top of my totally atonal arhythmic singing which I got needled about. At my gran's funeral. Good timing, chuck.

Anyway, it turns out from the sermon that she was a general hero, and a good Christian and everybody loved her. Woo.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

WPXI.com - News - Police: Man Performed Botched At-Home Castration on Transgender Woman
Don't ask me where I get this crap from. Please.
Disney Animates Dalí's Flick
"I'll only have sex with you if I was drugged." says cheating wife. dumb husband tests it out...
Elvis impersonator held in machete murder
Cat parasite transforming human brains
Asian Age | Submitted by: Reid Fleming
"Britain's estimated nine million domestic cats are being blamed by scientists for infecting up to half the population with a parasite that can alter people’s personalities. The figures emerge from studies into toxoplasma gondii, a parasite carried by almost all the UK's feline population and maybe elsewhere in the world. They show that half of Britain's human population carry the parasite in their brains, and that infected people may undergo slow but crucial changes in their behaviour. Infected men, suggests one new study, tend to become more aggressive, scruffy, antisocial and are less attractive. Women, on the other hand, appear to exhibit the 'sex kitten' effect, becoming less trustworthy, more desirable, fun-loving and possibly more promiscuous."
Breaking News - Top StoryKaneel
I'm so angry about the Arsenal-United game. So very very angry

Friday, September 19, 2003

Monday, September 15, 2003

Yahoo! News - FBI Probes Man Who Shipped Self to Dallas
the Angel Declaration - Read the Declaration
Signed this years ago, but it's amazingly still up - hardly pressure on the government, but a nice thing to put your name to.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

I've just heard Bill Cosby? singing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. This song must be heard to be believed. I certainly don't believe it. It's up there with Leornard Nimoy and the ballad of Bilbo Baggins.

I'm sure the song will find its way onto KaZaa or eMule sooner or later... Meantimes, check the link for a list of every Beatle's novelty song ever. Don't say I don't treat you right.

(Right in that sense meaning 'appropriately to your station in life' ;)
Tristram Shandy Online
Every last person should read at least the first two books of Tristram Shandy; it takes great moral fibre to actually force yourself through it, but it's worth every inch of force.

In quick summary it's an 'outrageous' tour de force written by Tristram about his life. He isn't born until halfway through the third book (and these are proper big books, not themodern crap that the olde folke would've called 'chapters.' His chapters are about the length of modern author's books...) He spends a lot of his time lamenting the fact that he's not going to get very in this autobiography, as it's taken him four years to write the first day of his life. Just read the beginning if you're feeling lazy ;)
A link from flatmate Kieron's blog that brings home the maturity of video-gaming. Honest!

Friday, September 12, 2003

Found in an email forward, great for declamation.

"This wight ventripotent was dining
Once at the Grocers' Hall, and lining
With calipee and calipash
That tomb omnivorous -- his paunch."
Horace Smith; The Astronomical Alderman; 19th century.
(Calipee and calipash are parts of a turtle
beneath the lower and upper shields, respectively)

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Police quiz Blaine botherers
Deserverd evr'ythin' 'e got guv'nor

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Monday, September 08, 2003

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Got a terrible lusting for battered bananas. Perhaps I'm pregnant.
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Mike May regains his sight after 43 years of blindness Beautiful. Just beautiful. A grown man reduced to childhood by regaining total sight, just like that, with the aid of good hard science.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Hollywood Is Calling
Look. At the Bottom! Greg Evigan, famed star of "My Two Dads", and "When Insects Attack!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

I know I remembered my dream this morning. I remember remembering it. And memory's infallible right? I remember someone telling me that once...


When I was a kid I remembered every dream; the one about the black hole of Calcutta, the one about the omphalos and the dinosaurs with men's heads, the one about the ditch and the maze made out of family members, where someone was chasing. They were ripe for analysis, heavy with psychological fruit. But now, when I have most need of blessing, wherefore can not I pronounce 'Amen', why no dreams?

Monday, August 25, 2003

Sorry for the slow posting, but I've been locked out of my flat for two days.

We've all done it, walked out of the door and realised our keys are inside. But what do you do when the only other keymaster is away, uncontactable, doubtless irritated to fuck if contacted, and hasn't said when he's getting back? And your landlord has more chance of running a cambodian concentration camp (not for ADD sufferers we might add) than answering the phone?

Of course, you wait a night then borrow a step ladder and break in.

Well, after wading in sandals through inch-deep pigeon shit to steal a too-long stepladder from one of the vents that dot your building. And finding you can't get it back through the window (begging the question, how the hell did it get in there?) Then realising you might not be able to get back through the suddenly-high window either...

So, anyway I borrowed a step-ladder, went to my neighbour's flat (who lives beneath me) and climbing up into my flat.
In full view of CCTV, Bath Abbey, and the main shopping street.

Would you be surprised the police popped round to say 'hello?'
Would you be surprised to find they thought I was a burgular?
Would you be surprised to find they had no record of my living at this property?
Would you be surprised to find that my flat looked like it was in the process of being robbed?
Would you be surprised to find that it took me ten minutes to find any I.D.?
Above all, would you be surprised that the other keymaster got back fifteen minutes later, and found me frantically cleaning the flat, inculcated with a terrible fear that the police were going to come back for tea and biscuits and find certain ediblets that might be on the wrong side of the law. This is all conditional, you understand?

Thursday, August 21, 2003

New York Post Online Edition: food Burrough's Naked Lunch gets a petit-bourgeouis makeover.
Spammer ducks for cover as details published on web
Betterhumans > News > Nanoparticles Keep Brain Cells Alive
BBC NEWS | Health | Doctor slang is a dying art
Discovery Channel :: Human Bones Beneath Ben Franklin Ho Franklin, the founding father with the penchant for physics and adultery, shows an aptitude at biology too...
Ninjalane - L33t Dictionary \/3|2y |_|53ph|_|[]_

Monday, August 18, 2003

Decapitation again
NEWS.com.au | Whale flatulence stuns scientists (August 14, 2003) nuff said.
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Plotting alternative film endings: "r"
"I always thought that Gladiator would have been better if after the death of the Emperor, Maximus had to fight off a whole army of nuclear-powered kangaroos that had been hiding behind the coliseum, bouncing around and crushing Romans with their big furry feet.

Pete, UK "

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Pathology: Green Turtle Eyes What the frick am I looking at this for? Answers on a postcard to c/o George W. Bush, White House, Washington Dark.City., USA.
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Suicide decapitated himself with nylon rope
Things to note about this suicide.
1) The suicide was committed in a manner consistent with the cult Blue Jam, a disturbing comedy radio programme.
2) The suicide was discovered by the girl who had rejected him.
3) The girl rang her work so everyone could have a gander at the headless body, before she rang the police.
4) The Nylon rope was bought with a staff discount.
5) The suicide killed himself, but put his seatbelt on.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Bomber's head found five stories up
"Williams' head has been shaved and drilled with holes. Verducci also reports that, before the head was placed in its present location, it was accidentally cracked as many as 10 times due to fluctuating storage temperatures." Urgh, I hate baseball, but I hate baseball player's heads going off even more. And being drilled with holes. And accidentally 'cracked.'
Boy shit Not up to the Tardblog, I'm sorry to say, but for the scatologically minded out there this is ideal viewing for the kids. Assuming they're coprophiles too.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

The Tard Blog Jawdroppingly wonderful.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Bloodthirsty or a classic? Gibson's film of Christ's last days alarms Jewish groups
Smokers are like viruses.

Let me qualify that.

Actually, no let's not.

Let's not qualify it, let's reject it.

Smokers aren't like viruses. They are viruses. Take the example of fag boxes (cigarette packets to our more dainty readers.) Smokers build up resistance. Stick a tiny warning on it, such as "Smoking has been associated with lung cancer" and they'll take a look, and some might stop smoking for a bit. But the urge makes them go back, and try again and again, and eventually the warning's effectiveness is eroded.

Then you have to try other warnings. Then threats. Then pictures of cancer victims (The latest ploy.) Even if you lined them up against hte wall and shot them, I'm sure they'd still manage to ensure the gun barrel smoked. I am of the firm belief that smokers will always come back, more in a zombie way than a doritos way, unless you irradiate them or something. If there was one smoker left on earth, and the rest had died in a smoking-related accident, and were ina big smoking heap nearby, I'm of the firm belief that he or she would quit for a week, and then be right back in there.

That said I *am* a total illiberal bigot.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Friday, July 25, 2003

Brace yourself for a boredom tornado; I went to a PC factory in Germany. Now, I'm expecting yawns, ann switching off of eyes everywhere now, and that's justified and right, I'm sure. But unlike you utter bastards out there, I found it both stimulating and fascinating. Waves of solder rising up to just clip motherboards, hard drives are flashed in seconds, a complete computer from nothing in less than twenty minutes. Makes you feel cheated to be paying a thousands pounds a whack... Oh, and I'm sick of press trips where I get sent out to a foreign country for a day, only to find that I'm staying in generic hotel Z, and eating Mexican food with people who can't quite communicate with me, whether through language barriers or otherwise. Everywhere I go it's the same story; whisked through, shielded from this spectacular location. Grr.
Faux Faulkner et al Glorious parodies of over-egged American scribblers.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

The first thing is I went on a balloon ride. Let me explain this; my body is a temple (in severe need of reconsecration, sure, but a temple all the same.) It does not tolerate extremes of any sort, and height just happens to be one of those.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Right, so Glastonbury story no #395,121

So I've bought some mushrooms. It's just after the Flaming Lips have finished playing. Here's maybe 80,000 people in a big lego crowd in front of me, all multi-coloured little blobs shifting about a bit, and Radiohead are due on next so no-one's moving any direction but closer to the stage.

Except yours truly, obviously, cos I'm off to the new bands tent. I've had a few tokes on Leeloush's camberwell carrot, and I'm distinctly dazed, so I ask one of the few people walking the same way as me for directions.
"Ehm" I sez, with my inimitable Hugh Grant incomprehensible stumbling voice "Do you know where the new bands tent is"
"yes" says the strangely high-voiced bear.
"Good" says I, oddly unperturbed by said talking Rupert.
So off we went, with a trumpety trump to the circus tent. where John Cale, psychotic ex-Underground Velveteen booties is supposed to be playing. Except he's not yet, and there's about three hundred misanthropes standing under a big empty gaudy tent, with the walls torn off, in perfect absolute silence.
The bear disappears into the night, and I start to wait.

After a while my chest hurts. I realise that the two litres of vodka and coke I've drunk while watching the Lips has inured me somewhat to the cold, but only temporarily. And now the cold's eaten through the voddy, and in my t-shirt the only way to keep warm is to curl into a ball on the floor. So I do, in the middle of the crowd.

(Nobody notices.)

Which is when Mr Cale graces us with his presence. He sings a few numbers I don't recognise, then a few I do in a sort of "fuck you, I saw the beatniks" attitude, which consists of random intonation and screaming every now and then, then refuses to play an encore and leaves us to disperse.

So I stagger back through the departing crowds of Radioheads, but of course my mates are long gone by the time I get there. Children and adults are roaming the enormous empty field gathering scrap litter to pile on the hundreds of little fires that have been started. It strikes me as a both a massively useful method of disposing of the detritus of ten thousand, and also massively romantic, so I sit down and watch from the top of the hill, where my friends were.

Wake up in the morning with more chest pains than a George Best impersonator.

Bizarre. And I never even ate the mushrooms.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Guess If I'm blogging, I'm feeling better again. There's times when all I want to do is blog, but can't think how to start. That said there's times I wanna chuck myself outa windows. Not through suicidal impulses, I'll have you know, I don't want this misconstrued (and no I'm not in 'De Nile'), but just to see what it feels like. You know the whole le parkour, urban-jungling thing is fine if you want to threaten yourself with death, but all I want is the experience - imagine, air juggling your cheeks, eyes drying out through the rapid passage, clean, sweeping everything past you as you fall, Batman sticking his head out of the window as you pass. Maybe it's just the high pressure or the heat, but that seems a nice thing.

Anyway, as I sat on my window ledge a few moments go, eating my eggs, roasted peppers (did them myself, left them in oil overnight - luvvly) and soda bread the bells started going. I was sat there, staring at the big cathedral just opposite, and I was thinking 'move damn you!' Course, I know damn right that it wasn't going to move, like it had the capacity to hear my thoughts, or reason, or any capacity whatsoever, except to sit there and just be regal. Just one of those peculair hman creations, things that have one particular quality, but no other. Like anyone I associate movement with noise, and vice versa - you drop a stick it makes a noise, swoosh-bang-clatter - but this big bolstered building makes a noise like a ventriloquist's dummy, sitting there smug, saying 'it wasn't me, honest guv.'

Course, I'm no fan of churches and cathedrals either. Big bloody buildings that drew the blood of thousands of less-privilieged people just so a bishop (no god) could live like a king in his fancy raiments. Sat there at the centre of a web of lesser evils, built for the rich exploiters of bath, like a gilt crucifix, pretty enough, but reeking of death.

Mutha...! As I was writing the church doors opened and the sunday mass poured out, like so much unleavened bread. And, for fuck's sake, as htey were leaving, they were accosted by a full African choir, who danced for them! I started joining in the singing, jigging along, rolled into my bathroom, then realised that I was singing all those hebrew folks ongs from my childhood. The most professed atheist, goes out of his way to insult those hung-up on the deity, and he finds himself singing "Manish Tannahm halileh-hazeh, mi-cohl hal-ey-ous." at the drop of some tztitzis.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Went to the Walcot nation day yesterday. Wasn't quite sure what to make of it. As a perpetual outsider, I might be expected to make a good observer, but that doesn't follow - depends whether the outsider ends up looking out or in - anyway, Walcot seems to consist of people who love being the outsiders, people who always wanted to be the outsiders. Nice for them to a have a choice, but then I guess we all do. They're the same middle-class-yet-white-trash stock I'm springing from, those who, because of mentality, internal codes, or simple social deformity, can't, shalln't or won't make it as part of the smug middle class - A1s and B1s, as opposed to us sultry Cs.

Friday, June 06, 2003

The Infinite Teen Slang Dictionary
Ham Hamentaschen in jewish tradition are hats made of nasty pastry you eat to punish a man called Haman. They don't punish him so much as you, from my recollection at least. Perhaps they simply needed more schmaltz. Then again everything could do with more Schmaltz.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Milk Bottle Of The Week
___THE ECONOMISTS___________________ I'm not sure the excessive underscore is absolutely necessary, but it is statistically significant.
Army commander battered officers with dildo You want comment?
Careful, Careful! Aww.....
Finally. Taken much effort, but managed to shift the Gillen from my computer. Boy blew up his own, and 'spects to use mine 24/7? Boy gotta earn some respect. Specially since boy in question had already decimated the machine, tearing off the power buttons, so we had to jump start it, and taken off the side 'for ventilation'. Nuts. Only ventilation he needs is another asshole t' let him breathe when he talks. Or something.

Anyhoo, no news here .Well, there's plenty but not that I'm going to divulge with the likes of you, faceless voyeurs all of you. If there are any of you. I hear that there's soemthing daft like more bloggers than blog readers. (Kieron's theory was that this has to be wrong cos bloggers read their own blogs, not like professional statisticians would adjust for something like that.) Well, I woulda kept a diary anyhoo, so pouring my words into the unjudgemental void ain't such a difference, just saves me buying pencil and paper. Which is good for the environment, right? Cos paper and pencil's are wood, graphite, and machining processes, all detractors from the beauty of nature, by chainsaw and paint.

But then again, how much power is this thing using - frickin non-fissile fossile fuels pouring away, and no going back on them. Not that it's going to stop me - this thing's on all day, and I work for a bleeding computer magazine, in an office that uses more power and paper than an origami factory; so if I'm going to start setting up my own paper walls, getting neurotic (that is, finding a conscience, or seeing it as my benefit to do seem to find one), wood-pulp and fossil fuels probably ain't the best place to start. Maybe I'll start with letting those who are less fortunate have what they need/want. Starting with letting Kieron back on this machine, infernal though it is.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Poot! Bedtime!
THe Voter, oh I can't be arsed. I didn't want to do this, I wanted to do a lumberjack.
The law of the playground (Official version)

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Just spoke to my Grandma on the phone. This is the welsh grandmother, with legs like a welsh dresser, and skin like old daffs, the one who's built like a harrier jump jet, all immensely strong bones, at the centre of an aging frame. Her senses are all failing her, all at once, but her mind's still trapped behind them, sharp as broken slate. The horror comes that with my mumbling tones, and her deafness, the conversation is no conversation at all. Not that we've anything to say; I can't relate my sucesses to her (because I don't work for sucess, I work for the happy life), and she doesn't know what to ask me, and knows she'll never understand my responses. Ritual sacrifice of time, for social obligation on both parts, very sad.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Switch Zoo More animal fun (no, Neil, not that way.)
Animism The worship of creative spirits.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Long Bets [ Welcome ] Gamboling like lambs

Monday, May 12, 2003

Bull efforts at writing stuff to different styles, for a training day. Why lose it?

The Economist
Ice cream used to be simple. The kid got cream, Ma froze it, then Pa hawked it around the streets. When he ran out, it all started again. But it’s numbers that sell the ice-cream now; ice cream’s lost that homely warmth. And Dean Freeze is one of the generation of chilly entrepreneurs making an ice-cool fortune from that familial failure.

Bath Chronicle
“What do you think about Ovaltine?” asks Local hero Dean Freeze. He’s making it big in Ice Cream. Bristol boy Dean is Managing Director of Luxury ice cream, a five-year old firm based here in Bath, employing 200 people.

Socialist Worker

Dean Freeze is a big shmuck. With his cheesy blondness and slick mcchick hair, I really hate him. He doesn’t know this. He wouldn’t understand if he did. His mouth’s moving as I write this, and words are coming out, but who cares? It’s just a string of platitudes.

Did my buddies die in Angola for this? So I could hear blondie here warble his merry way about frozen milk. I mean frickin Ice-Cream, who gives a toss to be honest. There are people starving in Namibia, and this hefty piece of polished shit, this burnished turd, is mouthing off about how he’s moving into the super-market.

“Nobody wants Maraschino Cherry Surprise” he poots. Damn straight. “We’ll keep coming up with new flavours. What do you think about Ovaltine?” I think it’s a great drink, I think it’s healthy, and so on, but I really can’t see what that’s got to do with a big tub of lard. I'm talking Mr Freeze now, not the ice-cream.
If you haven't already guessed I've been on another training day.
Three colours brown

‘Ow.’ There’s a dull crack as you bite into the chunky Kit-Kat. It leaves you exploring your mouth, hoping it was the bar that broke. As your tongue moves about, you can feel that the texture’s clammy, the smell’s greasy, and the flavour’s rough. It’s not quality chocolate by any means. You try the white chunky Kit-Kat next; it’s got that Gold Bar lard-leavened-with-sugar flavour, somewhat like uncooked cake mix. On the basis of the Chunkies, you decide to skip the normal Kit-Kat.

It’s not that there isn’t a lot of chocolate there, but the chunky design is just a Yorkie for the modern age. The advantage of the Kit-Kat was always the Tunnocks-type crispy wafer at the centre, which encouraged liberalism in the eating experience; you could lick it, chew it, or simply chomp it. Drowning it in cheap choc is singularly cynical.

First of all, the coating tastes too fatty; it’s that traditional British chocolate left over from colonial days that the EU tried to ban. They said it wasn’t chocolatey enough. I have to admit I’m on their side. On the back of the packet it doesn’t even say what proportion of vegetable to cocoa fats there are. Good chocolate is 70% cocoa or more – we dread to think what’s in here. It’s undoubtedly not organic. There’s even an ethical question over the prices that Nestlé pays developing-world suppliers for its cocoa.

If you’re paying 45p for a snack, you can’t expect much. However, when you remember that you can get two pieces of organic fruit for the same price and they’d leave the palette cleansed, the eater improved, and some money in the producer’s pocket, even 45p is a high price to pay. If you want chocolate go expensive, go organic, or go traditional; avoid the chunky.
Avoid Diet Coke, girls: Boffins have found that it can make you porky rather than perky. If you drink it with crisps, or anything salty, the profs say you could end up with extra bulk on the belly and bum! Eek! Our tip; don’t eat at all, to keep that fashionable S-Club figure.

The gourmet science whizzes hail from Leeds Uni in the grim north. The love-a-licious Dr George O’Bese filled us in on the puzzle. “The problem comes when you combine Diet Coke and salt,” he purred “even sliced bread is a problem.”

If you can’t get through the day without a can, but can’t bear to lose your buff tum, then simply follow Teen mag’s quick-fix guide to staying slim on diet coke:

1. If you have to drink it, keep to less than three cans a day.
2. Avoid eating it with toast or crisps – stick to high carb, low salt things like boiled potatoes, or Kendal mint cake.
3. Actually, if those are the options, don’t eat. Ever.

Coke replaced the old sweeteners in its drink, because it found they caused cancer! Now it looks like they’ve messed up again, leaving us with a hard choice. Would you rather be dead or fat? We know which we’d choose!

Test results from Leeds University are raising fears about the efficacy of certain weight-loss compounds. The artificial sweeteners in question are already in use in major soft drinks such as Diet Coke. Initial results are that subjects ingesting more than a litre of the test solution per week, with even a small amount of sodium chloride at the same time, suffered long-term weight gain in the region of 3.25 to 6.35kilos over the test period (twelve months.)

Thursday, May 01, 2003

The Idler Go and vote. Come friendly thumbs and fall on Slough!
Welcome to the Unofficial Sam & Max Website
Hastilty Constructed Playback Screen
Sam & Max: Freelance Police Always worth a look - I' ve gotta get hold of the comic books again.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Been a while, good buddies. I've visiited the US. since I last posted, and lived without blogging for a goodly while. However today's little briefing isn't anything about LA, or the war, as I'm sticking to my favourite topic; me.

That's right, today, I'm just listing all those foot in mouth situations that keep cropping up, day by day:
1) Asking a PR just how handsome a particularly geeky-looking programmer is, when I meant to ask how hands-on he is.
2) Making a comment about a flatmate's buxom girlfriend, then spending half an hour trying to justify how fat girls are better, with the comment that was rapidly quashed by astounded onlookers " a fat girl's just like a moped..."
3) Telling a friend of mind a joke, then telling her I didn't expect her to get it cos "you're blonde", then saying "it's alright we all know you're not a real blonde anyway."
4) There was also some comment about how nice a friend's girlfriend's necklace was, and how I'd like to give her a pearl one.
I think that'll do for foot in mouth for now...

Got stoned a couple of nights back. Taking a while to flush from my system. Since I last wrote anything of value, I’ve been to the States (californIA) for the first time (big streets, theme park feel) to see a MMORPGame, pleasant dream follows. There’s a big pie on a stick outside my bedroom windows, and I’m reaching for it, and it’s sprouted two little short-crust legs (bi-pied?), and is running, running, running like the whole of Bury’s chasing it, and I’m leaning out of my window, dreamily, head on arms, watching it run off into the sunset, whilst my dream body is chasing a many-legged pie through a forest of sausage-skinned trunks.

Everyone's been taking the piss out of my name today. I've got two messenger addresses, and I called them respectively Grill's in the Mist and Mist to the Grill. Then up popped Grill's aloud, Grill, You're a woman now, ShowGrills, Gregory's Grill,

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

"He is known to us...", the Policeman said, polishing a small box. Inside the small box was a smaller box, and inside that one yet smaller, and inside that... Well, there's no point finishing that sentence is there? You've seen an elipsis, you've felt the tension of it wobble off the back of your retina, but you know that the sentence would proceed similarly till knigdom come, just like you know one divided by three never stops, as maths is never satisfied. We try and argue points, and we can keep going with arguments, until we reach the point that we feel answers the question - not really answers the question, answers it enough for us.

An elipsis is three dots. A dot is a nothing, it has one dimension at most. Yet an elipsis like that leaves so much unsaid, so much room for interpretation, the operation of the imagination. An elipsis is an invitation to create.

The Paras (medics not trooper, super, knights) recognise the elipsis in the Policeman's sentence, and reach for the glassy usual suspect prostrate on our front step. Me and Kieron stand there agape. We'd been having what passed for a dinner party in our flat (half-light over a pastel scene of stir-fries and Sergio Leone) when an early exit meant someone spotted this friend of the prescription on our doorstep.

Kieron kindly put a blanket over the open-eyed figure. We waited uncomfortably with the only passerby to stop (I had not thought apathy had undone so many) for the police to arrive. The police arrived first through the torments of Bath's one way system, they found the pills by his side, they tried slapping him awake (remembering to put down their maglight this time, thankfully.) I shifted, uncomfortably holding the door open for no good reason other than looking busy. The medics wriggled their van in, asked if the Policeman knew him, then bundled him up and he was gone, leaving only his pills behind.

Back we went, inside. Kieron threw the blanket in the wash immediately, disgusted with himself for doing so, but conscience doesn't always stop the bad action.

""Flow my tears the Policeman said.

[Thinks: Is beer from the planet Dune Fremented?]

Monday, April 14, 2003

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Museum of Intergalactic Art - virtual planetarium and VR suite Cheesy retrospective museum of 10,000 years in the future.

Monday, March 31, 2003

Dog Owners Are Sadists - 4 Explore at your peril. The dog in the leotard is a bit rough.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Fake or Photo? Maybe I'm hankerng for something, or maybe I'm finding just too much good shit.
The Lost Vikings One of the gaming classics of yesterday, in a flash format - amazing what they're doing with flash no - it's becoming the main medium for transmitting all sorts of media.
Ageing abnormal star I love a universe capable of producing such outrageous unfathomable beauty, and I just wish we could take more part in it. Jeez, I'm writing lots today.
Octavo Collections and Projects, nowt to do with Mr Prattchett's fiction, but a selection of beautifully illustrated rare prints of fantastic ancient books. I'm in heaven, and my heart beats so... Note - check out the Bizzarie di Varie Figure -bit Bosch but without the grotesques (though theywere my favourite bit
Soul of the Web - more monadic selves than a Spinozan unified entity methinks
Dog Island Free Forever (Cat Island three fer ah pahhnd..?)

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Matthew Barney: The CREMASTER Cycle - finalState.

Genuine plotless insanity at first, then themes develop. I nnnn... I prefer it without the plot. Go through the xposition of the first cycle,then watch the trailer (if you've the bandwidth) you'll see what I mean..
How to Overthrow a Country

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

I've just been to a different place. There's a perfume that old greek women wear, and it was sunny today; these two transported me. I was sat in the pub and I fancied a break, so I wandered down to sit by the river. There was an old greek lady sat there and as I sat on the bench next to her, I caught a whiff of her perfume (I guess it smells like Madeleines, though I've never smelt them.) It instantly took me back to being a child on the beach; the shingly gravel beneath my feet became sand, the river became the briny sea, the sun was the same sun, and the old lady became my Aunty Nina (not a real aunty, but then they never are), enfolding me in her hot fat arms. I never saw her in that situation as a child, by the seaside, but I sat there transfixed for fifteen minutes, and came out of it like a yogic trance.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Sat back in office, behind with deadlines and in the middle of brainstorming with alec about how you'd go about getting an alternate persona, I suggested if you went and dug up the birth certificate of someone who was born in the same year as you, but died in infancy, then you could use them. Then I realise my eager yelpings have carried to the ears of our Production Editor, absent the last week as she'd miscarried... fun ensues.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Ach, welcome back. It's been a while, so I've been one of lazy, dead, ill or maybe all three. News; have been to Normandy on press trip; will update soon on three days of appid debauch. (and on how it takes nine hours to go fifty miles.) Have moved flat; am now living in Bath City centre with man called Kieron Gillen who is trying to make a name for himself on the internet (unfrotunately the name he's chosen is Minister Drillcock. Worries about sanity are not to be expressed audibly.) Am also ill, and have been all week. Finally got bored of fighting off cold today, and spent whole day recuperating in bed, drinking chicken stock, and blowing my nose. Had same impact on cold as hedgehod on express train. Nose feels like piece of meat kebabbed to face, fingers gone numb. Let's see if more sleep can cure it...

Thursday, February 20, 2003

otter madness
Can't contain my glee! Gotta tell someone - wanted to tell my family, my friends, everybody - I was walking across that same broad stretch of prefab concrete I always talk about, that city-centre bathed bridge, and I was looking as usual at The Odd Couple. (Better explain I guess - there's a broken pipe that's just above water level, and for some reason there's always two mangy pigeons squatting in it, hiding from the seagulls; don't know if they're ever the same ones, but they're the odd couple.)
Anyway, then I noticed they were watching something in the water, a big stick. Then I look away for a second, and there's ripples spreading out from the stick, so I look back, and it's an otter! A genuine otter, that's just rolled over, and is looking at me not twenty feet away. He's got a fish clutched in his front paws, and as I watch he bites into it, and then rolls back under the water. I watch and I think I've lost him, and the he's back, still with the fish!
So I stand there for ten minutes watching, and now I'm the happiest man alive, click-heels, air-jump ecstatic. I've seen an otter; it feels like I've swum with a blue whale, or wrassled a moose.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

There's a oak tree somewhere, in distant memory. It's not an old oak, it's not even a royal oak. It's just an oak, and it stands just beneath the crest of a hill spreading its branches. It's roots go deep, not because the water-level's low, but because there's grass on the ground and shallow roots would choke it. Instead of bare earth a green carpet stretches right up to the base of the tree, mingling with the moss that's starting to climb its flanks.
Now I'm a lover of comic books and of computer games; I experience the same bloody pleasure from each; yet I'm a pacifist, and I have qualms about my loves. I've seen pictures of the effects of war, real faces in real deaths, and it disturbs me when I play games that replicate this so easily. Under that tree's kin I'll have read books where my kin are torn and mutilated, and my enjoyment of this make-believe is ebbing, not with guilt but with moral repugnance.
Now Dubya and his kin would have us go to a war. Knowing the death this would involved I cannot agree, not unless more lives were lost in the inaction than in the action. Granted I value happiness too, but the fact that we all have but one life to live and that life would end in 500,000 cases in terrible pain and misery under Bush's plan seems a horrendous weight against his argument from the start. The argument has not been made with great care anyway, and with his WASP/harvard/business/religious background every move he makes is suspect. Saddam is not a nice man; but there is a feeling that George would be worse if he could be. For this reason the world's boisterous stand against the man fills my heart like bubbled molasses, and I thank the obstinate types of this world dearly, like they care.
I used to have odd fancies when I was younger about how the world worked. Because I decided early on, probably too early if truth be told, that value systems are arbitrary and that you make your own point in life, I would concoct various ways of living that I'd think the ultimate and fall whole-heartedly into for a couple of motnths.
One of these was a questioning one, y'know, a dull everyday event would happen, in which I'd change a single person's day by an iota, and I'd find myself thinknig "Was that it? Was that what I'm here for?" Not in a religious way, because that's just a dull overworked idea, but more in a "being an element in another's dream" way.
Similarly, after reading a little too much of the end of A Tale of Two Cities and The Trial of Charles I I found myself falling again into the martyring (but purposeful) track of Sidney Carlton, thinking to myself which of my friends, family and acquaintances I'd be willing to die for. Odd chain of thought, as it leads to distinctly disturbing conclusions about the value of lives with regard to age, intelligence, and unquantifiable things like compassion; but then again we all develop our own private value systems, just that we refuse to admit them to ourselves. Or is that the fallacy of the universalised self again, am I thinking because I think this everybody thinks this, therefore this is right. Ah, it's too late, port has made me weary, and philosophy befuddles my aging brain. I'll bid you a jew, and raise you a shia.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Error. Click here for information.
Everything you ever wanted to know about crisps, but were too fat to ask.

Strap 25
I can't be arsed writing a strap. What follows is a boring story about... crisp! Yay! woo woo!

body 500

Two small babies. Eight bags of sugar. That's how much you, Joe Public, eat in crisps per year; a german eats twice that. A man in Texas once ate ten times that. And the list of delicious deep-fried statistics goes on. But one thing is for certain; we don't know as much about that fried lump of starch as we should.

Railway tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt would've; he was famed for his fastidious tastes, back in 1853. Native American chef George Crum would've too; he was king of his thick fries. After Vanderbilt had sent his too-fat chips back to Crum's kitchen for the umpteenth time, Crum blew his top, and shredded the chips into deep-fried slivers. Vanderbilt loved them and Crum's invention rapidly spread. So in conflict was the humble potato chip born.

Of course we Brits are justly famed for our crisp-love; we might only consume 8.5 million packs ourselves, but Walkers sends 4.5 billion round the world. Our little romance with this mandolined tuber started long ago. History says that Walter Raleigh brought the potato back from the Americas and presented it to Good Queen Bess back in 1570. Making a salad out of the leaves didn't prove as popular, and Raleigh was forced to explain (ever with the axe hanging over him) that the root was the edible bit.

The first proper British crisps were made back in 1913, by Mr Carter (like the best English food after the French fashion.) Since then of course we've gone from strength to strength, proliferating styles and flavours like only the most pernickety nation on earth could do. They stretch from the humble Smith's Square to the grotesque moreishness of Monster Munch to Proctor and Gamble's reformed pizza sized behemoth (two foot across, and on show in a US museum.)

Crisps invade every walk of life; they appear on the telly, they're turned into loveable cartoon characters, and they're endorsed by celebrities. Giant Haystacks was a Skips fan; Derek Nimmo loved his Space Invaders; and Gary Lineker is infamous for his endorsement of Walker's, getting paid £100,000 every time he gets a mention in. Even Yasser Arafat has his own brand, available in tasteful intifada colour schemes with a tenth of a cent going to his cause from every pack sold.

Whither the crisps of the future? It looks like the crisp market may split, with the esoteric potato forms and flavours spinning off up their own wotsit, and the 'real crisp' advocates taking the organic products back to basic. As Barney Rooney, an online organics expert says "The new crisps are tasty but for a bit of rough, they've ideas above their station. What's next? Powdered, tenderised encrusted pork scratchings sprinkled with sea salt?"

Two pints of lager and...
strap - we investigate the perfect potato-based accompaniments, whatever your taste.

The working man's drink needs some gritty crisps to go with it, something both filling and meaty in flavour. It has to be Lamb Monster Munch; each lump is hand-crafted from baked potatoes and mutton in the hills surrounding Aberstywyth, and dragged to the packing plan by rough ex-miners, who then stun the snack-beasts with welsh cheese before manhandling their struggling forms into the bags.

This southern drink really needs a cherry on the top, and a brolly on the side. Failing that we recommend Takeaway's Chinese Cracker crisps; delicate flutes of rehabilitated potato soaked in more E (numbers) than a rave, and more moorish than Granada. (The town, not the channel.) Try them with Takeaway's Deep Fried Blowfish for a true taste explosion.

Something for the lady
If it's sugary, highly alcoholic and ridiculously expensive then there's one counterbalance that might just save the evening (and stop her nicking your chips); pork crackling. Give 'er a bag of that, and every time she reaches for your bag, you slap her hand away, and point to her untouched scratchings. She'll start weeping at the horror of fat+ hair as a culinary treat, at which point you engulf her sobbing form in a manly hug, whilst moving your crisps carefully out of reach.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Bought poetry today. Last night speaking plain (primogenitor: red wine) caused me problems (Sorry Mr Gillen!) so, upon remembering a desire for Auden and Eliot, I thought softening the betoothed tongue with dulcet vocab a "good thing." Went out and wasted money (what am I to spend it on - candles, wine and books?) on a pile of cheap books, to add to the embiggened collection spread cross my floor. As per usual, a nice girl at the counter flirted away (thought I was from Prague apparently), and I was too terrified to respond. As per usual came back and kicked myself. Arse. There goes sweete vesperes oth vocabe, back comes Anglo-Saxon. Arse.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Two types of twitching a welcomed this eve: the first is a memory of yesterday, of looking out across a club floor, where a potato band were playing, with recognisable naíf faces you could read every day of faked history from, and seeing that floor full of the spasmodically twitching heads of people who didn't really like the music, but liked the youth on show. Coming such a way to see a band who you know are no good, and then being lonely in tune to them in a crowd. What a pleasantly self-destructive way to pass the night. However Herman Dúne were harmonic enough, in a mid-west hassidic way - one of them even had peyers!

The second twitching was supposedly induced by the intake of substantial quantities of gaming-enhancing drugs, though no such effects were seen - supposedly they restore your concentration but hardcore gamers have no problem with that as far as we could see in our dead scientific study tonight - subject A took the pills (uppers, maintainers, and downers), subject B was a control and subject C (me!) got to drink lots of booze to see how it would affect his game. Results in the next issue of PC Format boys and girls!

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

]On the subject of old bloody bloom, so steeped in't that to go on is easier than to go back, my sanguinne obsession has taken up apace. Apart from using White Blood Cells as a metaphor for death (skullish colour, consuming phagocytes, etc.) in my copy, I also started the day with a bloody mary, and last night my nose bled all over my desk. ]

Monday, January 20, 2003

Apparently I'm a writer now, speciality subject staves. What do I think of that? I don't know. I'm happy sure, in that it feels like progress (even if it is only the next desk) but at the moment I could just collapse. I think its lack of air or light, and the continuance of my Leopold bloom obsession from yesterday (bought enormous quantities of bloody liver, and proceeded to eat with polenta and onions to disgust of veggie flatmate.) I've been back for 3 weeks,and I really, really need a big break in the countryside with air, a pub, and places to walk. Let me out!

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Watched the ring last night. Curse my febrile imagination (why is nothing else ever febrile, why are dawns always rosy-fingered, why are statesmen always overweight, and why is this line of questioning so familiar? So easy to adhere to the common language, the regular expressions that must go together - Proust had it, doing a Gormenghast, think about the coupling of words, and force-birth them into each other - grass not crisp or green or even velvety, but like boxed oxygen or low-lying sheets of putrid stomach lining... which brings me back to topic I guess.)

Watched the ring last night. Vituperate my unsleeping imagination, but I watched another laugh-a-horror afterwards, and came back to my lonely well-screened, bemonitored room. The walk back had been terrible (opening the door was difficult in itself) but to sit in my dark room with a vaguely glimmerborn black void of a screen pointing at me asleep was too much. I turned the lights on, and though my rationalisations, sorry rationality, said "horror won't come and get you", my bloody uncertainty, my godforsaken nihilism of belief, let me believe anything, leaving me awake into the wee hours, reading, gaming, but not doing anything that could let me think too much.

So. What I'm saying is it was a standard dull human night; avoidance of thought is our birthright, the way to cope with what comes after, and the futility of what comes now; bury it in the only worthwhile thing, the absenting of pain, and we draw it nearer without caring about the drawing down of these sad curtains.

[BTW the last post was some sort of reference to my christmas party - I think - been a while since I've frequented these parts...]