Finally!

First off, this video is pretty old, but the company have just announced that this beast is going on sale sometime this year. At which point I imagine humanity will give up on scientific progression altogether and just say, ‘Fuck it, flying cars. It’s all been worth it.’ As I’m sure we can all agree.

Unfortunately, you just feel like it might be a bit of a false dawn. First of all, at £160,000 the only people who’ll be buying one will be the only people you ever see in Lamborghinis or blacked out Range Rovers: fat, balding, middle-aged tossers and/or footballers.

Imagine the chaos! Whenever Wayne Rooney took to the skies there’d have to be a team of people directly below with a large net in case he forgot where he was and got out to get chips. Steven Gerrard would deliberately fly his car-plane into another one as hard as he could then claim he was playing the ball.

And given that whenever you see Lamborghinis parked it’s inevitably on double yellow lines or actually inside Waitrose, there’s very little chance that any of these machines would ever land at a proper airport. More likely you’d see them swooping down from the skies to cut people up at roundabouts, or attempting intricate landings directly through the windows of high end brothels. (There’s a crude joke about brothels and landing strips in there somewhere but I’ll leave it up to you to make it. Suggestions on a postcard.)

This would happen within minutes

Second, those wings look a bit flimsy don’t they? I’m not sure about you but if I was entrusting my life to two strips of metal I’d make damned sure they didn’t have a bloody great hinge in the middle of them with the specific intention of folding up. Perhaps the most telling safety feature on the Transition is the presence of a full-vehicle parachute, which whilst reassuring is hardly reassuring. “Yes, it’s definitely coming out of the sky at some point, but not as hard as you might think.”

Finally, it’s not a flying car, it’s a plane with folding wings and a steering wheel. It’s a car in the same way a chicken is a bird or a tomato is a fruit; on a technicality. If you drove it to Sainsbury’s people would think you’d gone wrong.

Of course, having said all that I’ve already started saving for one. As many people have inanely said, it’s every young boy’s dream to own a flying car. I never actually had that dream. I did once dream I played for England, which is every young boy’s dream, but then I also dreamt I got chased around a giant chessboard by the grim reaper. Repeatedly. Go figure.

What I’m trying to say is that while this is the best thing that’s ever happened ever, it isn’t the plasma-powered flying Chevy I imagined as a kid, and if I saw David Beckham in one I’d shit myself and run for cover.

Continue the research.

 

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We’re so gosh darned angry we’re giving you the night off

Was presumably what the executive at Sky Sports told Andy Gray and Richard Keys after that conversation. Then they probably all burst out laughing and went to a strip club. Or the 1920s.

In case you haven’t followed this one, Sky Sports top presenter and most clichéd pundit are in trouble over voicing their views about the presence of a female assistant referee in the Wolves v Liverpool game in mid-January. Which was along the lines of:

Richard Keys: Well, somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.

Andy Gray: Yeah, I know. Can you believe that? Female linesman. Forget what I said – they probably don’t know the offside rule.

RK: Course they don’t.

AG: Why is there a female linesman? Somebody’s fucked up big.

RK: I can guarantee you there’ll be a big one today. Kenny [Dalglish, Liverpool’s manager] will go potty. This is not the first time. Didn’t we have one before?

AG: Yeah.

RK: Wendy Toms.

AG: Wendy Toms, something like that. She was fucking hopeless as well.

RK: [exasperated groan]

AG: [inaudible]

RK: No, no, it’s got to be done, it’s good. The game’s gone mad. See charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah. Do me a favour, love.

(Transcript sourced from the Guardian)

A few things spring to mind here. First, it’s important to stress that these were off air remarks, which is presumably the only possible reason these clowns weren’t fired on the spot. Gray was subsequently dismissed for other lewd activities involving his groin and a female presenter, while Keys resigned citing “dark forces” as being at work. Proof if ever that Voldemort is alive and well and working at Sky.

There’s an argument being made in some quarters that what was said wasn’t meant for broadcast and the presenters are entitled to their own personal views, and that’s perfectly reasonable. What is unreasonable is effectively supporting these outdated views by continuing to employ those who hold them. Ron Atkinson expressed his personal views off air once. He, unsurprisingly, got fired.

Second, it’s hardly surprising to hear these kinds of views aired in a football context. I’ve been around football long enough to know that bigotry of any kind is fair game amongst certain groups of fans. Racism has dogged football, as it has most sports, at all levels since day one, with some notable and all too recent examples.

Sexism is well entrenched as well, hence the Neanderthal swell of outrage that crops up any time a woman has the audacity to want to get involved in the “men’s” game. Whether it be officiating, playing, coaching, managing, or whatever, there’s always a massive swell of interest, usually followed by crass and petty displays of machismo from the terraces, and more worryingly from the governing bodies. Sport is one of the last great bastions of gender division and it’s almost as funny as it is sad watching the likes of Gray and Keys try to come to terms with the introduction of women into their beloved boys’ club.

Put simply, the rules in sport are slowly moving, and rightly so, to mirror wider social guidelines, where people are judged on their ability, not the colour of their skin or whether or not they have a vagina. There are some gifted female footballers out there who could make it at the top levels of the men’s game. Marta, Kelly Smith, Birgit Prinz, Hannah Ljungberg, all of whom could shine at the very top level, are denied the opportunity simply because of their gender. Female officials are only just coming through, and full credit to those who do because it must be a pretty hostile environment.

People often complain that the military is institutionally sexist. Possibly because it is. But the same accusation doesn’t seem to get levelled at competitive sport. It’s hardly surprising that relics like Keys and Gray still abound when they work within a framework which is governed by sexist principles. If FIFA finds the prospect of ovaries and testicles on the same pitch then there’s little hope for the eradication of this blight in the rest of the game. At the moment it’s not even OK to be gay and kick a football so it seems that football is falling just short of catching up with the 1950s.

FIFA Convention 2011

Any surprise, then, that Messrs. Gray and Keys come out with such tripe? No. Any surprise that their employer (as of writing) have given them a slap on the wrist and two tickets to Spearmint Rhino? No. It’s no shock that you find terrible bigotry in an arena which excels at being terribly bigoted.

One final note. Re-read the transcript above and replace the word ‘female’ with the word ‘black’, and the sexist references with racist ones. Now consider whether, if that had been what was said, these idiots would still be employable. I think not.

What’s the difference?

Cameron to Sell Ice to Eskimos

Or Inuits. Whichever you prefer.

The Prime Minister has taken it upon himself this week to go about privatising literally anything he can think of, in an ill-advised attempt to gain empathy with the working class by becoming a reincarnation of Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses.

Starting with the news that your hernia operation will be carried out by the highest bidder (if you have rich enemies and a dodgy heart I advise keeping the need for a bypass very quiet indeed…) and finishing with a masterful plan which consisted of the words ‘MONEY’ and ‘BIRCH’ scrawled onto a page three hundred times, the PM is showing the classic signs of going absolutely bat-shit crazy.

I’ll maybe leave the NHS stuff to another time. Largely because I don’t want to give myself an aneurysm and have it fixed by a self-made farmer from Truro who “always fancied myself as a bit of a surgeoner my handsome. Now, where’s them shears?”

Focusing on the tall leafy things then, first thing to say is what on earth happened at that cabinet meeting?

“Right guys, we’ve made progress. We’ve sold the NHS, we’ve sold them down the river on education, we’re selling the post office…I don’t know, I just think we need something else to really make this a fire-sale…wait. Fire…forest fire. Forests!”

An idea is born. I call it ‘oakpocalypse’. I don’t think it’ll catch on.

As I understand it, the government has 150,000 hectares of prime British woodland just sitting there not making money. Someone obviously told them that money doesn’t grow on trees and they’ve gone and run with that notion spectacularly. So they’re going to flog them on the proviso that the buyers can’t chop the lot down.

If private buyers can’t chop the lot down, i.e. develop it, then the immediate question of’who the fuck will buy a forest?’ springs to mind. What possible use could any person or group have with a large number of protected trees?

I can see a couple of reasons why you might buy in:

1) Carbon credits – Trees suck up CO2. Companies pump out CO2. Companies have to stop pumping out CO2. Companies buy trees. Simples. Obviously this will mean that woodland bought by companies will be off limits to the public; can’t have Johnny Public stomping round eating picnics and ruining the carbon sinks can we?

2) Profit – Fence it off, charge entry. Enjoy the ever-dwindling gifts of nature for only £3.50 per day.

3) Because you can – You just know some oligarch would do it just to use ‘Would you like to come and see my wood?’ as a chat up line.

Government spokespeople are claiming that they envisage the main buyers as community groups and local people, which really rubs the salt in. Effectively their grand plan is to take public property, something which has always been free and, as the title would suggest, public, and sell it back to us. Then let us pay for the upkeep.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that’s generally known as a con.

 

 

All you need is love?

Who, honestly, has ever looked at a Big Mac lovingly?

The last time I held one tenderly in my hands I didn’t feel unbridled love, I felt a warm trickle of questionable animal fluid dribbling down my forearm. When I behold a McDonalds cheeseburger I’m not whisked to an ecstatic meadow of dreams by its subtle scent, I’m whisked downwind of a dustbin lorry on a hot summer’s day.

Don’t get me wrong, I love McFlurries as much as the next person, but I’ve definitely never thought about that venerable restaurant chain and thought: “I’m lovin’ it.”

The same, for that matter, goes for New York or any other city, mainly because it’s hard to feel genuine affection for an administrative region.

This whole love thing has gone a bit far. The trigger for me was seeing a tiny old lady carrying a woven shopping bag. Instead of the usual painting of an obscure ballroom dancing scene that usually adorns little old ladies’ shopping bags, this one was emblazoned with a simple message: “I ♥ My Bag For Life.”

I almost cried. Do her family not visit any more? Is her husband and/or cat long since deceased? What is this poor person’s life reduced to that all she has left to love is a simple woven bag?

Okay, obviously I didn’t think that, but what did spring to mind was the increasing prevalence of this kind of crap. You can declare your love for anything now, no matter how mundane, and nobody seems to think it’s at all weird. Pretty much the only thing I’ve not seen plastered across a T-shirt under a massive red heart is the word ‘Children’. This is my current favourite weird love example:

If you do, seek immediate psychiatric help.

Mostly it’s a fairly cynical and desperate ploy by marketers, attempting to create loyalty to shitty products by creating a genuine emotional connection between a human and whatever it is they’re trying to flog. It’s quite sad in a way, because in my book love and hate are meant to be fairly rare emotions conveying powerful feelings and unique sensations, but this kind of lazy trash just cheapens all that, and creates new minefields in an already very minefield-ridden area of life:

“I love you.”

“That’s very nice, but your wardrobe says that you also love beer and the 1980s. I’m going now.”

So stop it. You don’t love New York. It’s likely you haven’t been. You don’t love your bag, or else you wouldn’t have so many others you cheating turd! You don’t love the 1980s, and if you say you do you weren’t there. You don’t love beer, you just drink a lot of it. You like these things. They bring varying degrees of mild satisfaction and temporary happiness to your life. But you don’t LOVE any of these things or else you’d currently be sat in a room with padded walls, drugged up to the eyeballs writing gushing love notes to your kitchen table while stern looking people looked at you and scribbled “still loves inanimate objects” on clipboards.

And you don’t want that. Unless you have a T-shirt with “I ♥ Powerful Sedatives” on it.

On a completely unrelated note, rantraverelax now comes with 100% more cat videos. Rejoice!

We’ll help the heroes of Wank in the Shower Britain, says Deputy PM

Read this first! (It actually works now and everything.)

HARD-WORKING Brits are the backbone of the country, the people who will drag us out of recession, says Capitulator in Chief Nick Clegg.

Ordinary, willing folk – dubbed Wank in the Shower Britain because they snub the benefits culture, get up early to go to work and then miserably pleasure themselves in a torrent of lukewarm water and tears – will be given Government support.

Here, he calls for a “coalition of people prepared to roll up their sleeves, [eat their own children] and get the nation back on its feet”.


THERE are millions of people in Wank in the Shower Britain. People, like Moon readers, who have to get up every morning and work hard to get on in life. People who want their kids to get ahead.  I had a head once. David said it wasn’t becoming, so he replaced it with his own.

People who don’t want to rely on state handouts, but wouldn’t mind because it beats the crushing depression of working long hours for fuck all money. People who don’t need politicians to tell them what to think or how to live their lives, but who don’t have a choice. People who are not poor but struggle to stay out of the red, which isn’t in any way a contradiction.

They are the backbone of Britain.

These are the people who will get this country moving again. It is their hard graft, day in, day out, that will get us out of the hole Labour left us in.

Deputy Prime Minister...Nick Clegg

This Government is formed by a coalition of two parties and we want to join the people of Wank in the Shower Britain in another coalition. A coalition of people prepared to roll up their sleeves, splurge all over the bath and get the nation back on its feet.

Ed Miliband may be prepared to hide under his duvet from the problems Labour left us with. But we will get up every morning and face up to them. In Wank in the Shower Britain, people don’t want a handout but they appreciate a helping hand. And that is exactly what the Coalition Government is offering them. David offered me a helping hand once. It felt nice, until he bent me over and buggered me from here to Knightsbridge. I kept smiling though, which is what Wank in the Shower Britain is all about: just get on with it, no matter how brutally fucked you are.

I know that times are difficult right now. We are having to make cuts to pay off Labour’s debts and some bills are going up. All bills in fact. Substantially.

Now more than ever, politicians have to be clear who they are bending over for. Be in no doubt, I am clear about who that is. That is why the Liberal Democrats made a big, fat middle finger to voters on the front of our manifesto.

That no basic rate taxpayer will pay any tax on the first £10,000 they earn. But 2.5% on everything they buy.

We’ve already taken the first steps which will take nearly 900,000 out of paying tax altogether. Like Vodafone, and Sir Phillip Green!

From April, every single taxpayer earning less than £42,500 a year will see their income tax bill cut by £200. By the time of the next election, 23million people will be paying £700 less. That’s a saving of 0.003p per person!

The Government is lending a hand in other ways, too.

We are protecting jobs by cutting red tape for employers and stopping Labour’s tax on jobs. We are putting more money into our schools. We are increasing childcare for kids under five to help the mums and dads who get up every morning and juggle their genitals expertly.

And we’re helping the grandparents too by protecting pensions and putting billions into social care. This is win-win for us, because in Wank in the Shower Britain, you can’t retire until you’re dead. So by ‘social care’, what we mean is ‘a rather exclusive Swiss bank’.

Today, I’ll be meeting some of the hardworking heroes of Wank in the Shower Britain. They, like many of you, had to set the alarm incredibly early this morning in order to take out their frustrations on themselves. They are busy doing their jobs long before it’s even light.

The people in Wank in the Shower Britain deserve a break. RSI is a serious threat.

They drive our economy every single day of the year. Rain, wind or shine they are busy making this country tick. Unless it’s snowing, of course.