Oh, so that’s how you protest…

It’s all become clear now. Thanks Egypt. Thanks Libya. Thanks Tunisia.

While we idled round London for a couple of days in the winter the rest of the world decided to get off its arse and really fucking go for it when it had a grievance. Tahrir Square was especially fantastic:

Crowd: “Fuck off Mubarak!”

Mubarak: “No.”

Crowd: “Fuck off Mubarak!”

Mubarak: “No.”

Much larger crowd: “FUCK OFF MUBARAK.”

Mubarak: “If I fuck off will you lot please go home?”

Crowd: “OK”

Mubarak: “Fine. Sure. Whatever, just leave me alone now.”

New Government: “Rejoice, Mubarak is gone! You can return to your homes happily.”

Crowd: “No. Fuck off New Government”

New Government: “Oh for the love of…”

Genuine, grade A protesting from the Egyptians there: get what you want and then keep refusing to do anything. Soon the interim government will get so desperate they’ll give in to all kinds of demands, at which point I really hope the public start taking the piss and anoint a blind, flatulent camel as supreme ruler, with policy decisions to be based on the tone and frequency of said flatulence. Hey, everyone has dreams.

"We're not going home til she's in."

The Libyans seem to be taking an altogether riskier route, because although the Egyptians came up against the military, at no point did that military start firing wildly and indiscriminately into the crowd, a situation which the UN is now mildly describing as ‘escalating’. Which is like calling World War 2 ‘a bit of fisticuffs’. Bless the UN, the international equivalent of the korma. Mild. Bland. Pointless.

What this all amounts to though is some serious people power, and it’s becoming increasingly patronising that the west looks on approvingly, like a proud parent watching their child start to walk. The reality is, far from following in our wise white footsteps, people all over the world, who we are quick to judge as poor, or ill-educated, or backwards, are giving us a valuable lesson in how to do democracy.

**WARNING**wild left wing rant alert**WARNING**

In the UK, we have a government which the majority of Britons did not vote for, who have no constitutional requirement to uphold the will of the people, and who have effective free rein to implement policies which, while not actually breaking people’s legs, will cripple millions of citizens from birth and never give a substantial chunk of society a chance in life. Yet we condescendingly applaud when people we deem below us stand up and fight against oppression, all the while bending over to take what our elected dictators give us. We should be out on the streets shouting our grievances from the rooftops, refusing to quit until we are heard. In this country, we only protest once the battle is lost, and by then it’s too late and we give up almost immediately. So we shouldn’t clap and cheer while other people lay down their lives for causes they believe in, we should learn from their actions and take the fight to our own governments.

Annnnnd breathe…

Unfortunately, we’re far too British and far too lazy to ever replicate these kind of uprisings. Today I nearly didn’t go into a shop to buy some rather essential loo roll because I had a Kit Kat in my pocket and didn’t want there to be an awkward ‘scene’ where accusations of treat larceny were bandied around. Our mortal fear of confrontation, aka embarrassment, means we’ll never have the gumption to step up and tell our officials that we won’t be taken for fools. For example, I’m currently sitting on my bed with a laptop and a lovely cookie while education becomes unaffordable for our children, our health service gets sold to the highest bidder and our social support mechanisms are systematically destroyed. The closest I’ll get to radical protest is a strongly worded letter, maybe a witty riposte.

Fuck it, it’ll probably work itself out.


Cameron accuses himself of hypocrisy

The increasingly confused Prime Minister has today worried fellow ministers by engaging in an impassioned attack on his own policy in the Commons. He followed this by accusing himself of propagating the most outrageous double standards, before squaring up to himself in a manner which made Hugh Grant look like Mike Tyson.

According to a close aide, Mr Cameron has uttered the word ‘cuts’ so many times in the last few months that the word has lost all meaning, and he now spends several nights a week slumped on the kitchen floor, miserably chopping up paper with a pair of rusty scissors.

The crazed debacle began when the embattled Prime Minister’s brain suffered a catastrophic short circuit sometime around noon. Fifteen seconds after telling Manchester City Council to make as many cuts as they possibly could, he performed an astounding volte-face and began railing against the wildly punishing cuts being made by Manchester City Council. Although the Conservative chief is, like many politicians, known for making U-turns at least four times a month, it is generally accepted that there should be a gap of more than four seconds between conflicting statements to allow the media goldfish to forget all about the previous lie.

Is tattooed on the PM's arse

For the PM to simultaneously venture down two conflicting tracks either speaks of unfathomable arrogance and contempt for the public, the gentle yet irresistible collapse of a man’s mind, or a terrible realisation that this whole government lark is a tad more difficult than they told him at Eton. All are worrying, all are funny in their own simple way. Unfortunately, it does not appear to have struck home to the wealthy leader that you can’t force people to cut their budgets and then be surprised and mortified when they cut their budgets. Hilariously, Cameron announced that he believed that the Manchester Council cuts were ‘politically driven’. Opposition MPs were too busy trying to stop their sides from splitting to shout ‘hypocrite’.

In a final flourish, Mr Cameron declared that Manchester Council ought to cut the salary of its chief executive, some £200,000, before cutting public services.

At this point, Ed Miliband reportedly had to be physically restrained before he could shout ”WHAT ABOUT THE BANKERS YOU STUPID CU-”.

Desmond to relaunch Channel 5 as ‘grim vision of the future’

In a bold step for the veteran media mogul, Richard Desmond has decided to merge all of the worst things in British popular culture into one channel, finally satisfying the country’s urge for 24/7 unadulterated wank.

Allegedly, the idea for this new ‘hypershit’ form of television came to the creative director after eating some fairly dubious scallops. Whilst reflecting on the porcelain-framed horror below him, the director thought, “That’s just crazy enough to work”. Several months and literally hours of work later, the result is a concept that is so baseless that Denise van Outen has walked out on it before it’s even begun on the grounds of it being “too fackin’ trashy.”

(Side comment: Apologies to Denise van Outen for that cheap shot. Far from being trashy, she is positively saintly given that she’s from Basildon. Basildon, for the uninitiated, is a town where I was once refused entry to a drinking establishment on the grounds of inappropriate footwear. Simultaneously, an appropriately attired gentleman emerged from said establishment, loudly proclaiming that he was, in his own words “going to get my fackin’ shooter.”)

Genuinely though, the real details of Desmond’s relaunch are funnier than any attempt at taking the piss. Instead of the admittedly ropey but definitely still news-based news show ‘Live from Studio Five’, they’re going with OK! TV. Which is exactly what it looks like, and which you’d hope isn’t a horrible sign of things to come:

“And now on BBC One, our new flagship news show, Stuff!, presented by Huw Edwards. Today, Huw spends in excess of 45 minutes discussing whose tit fell out at which premiere, and how to make your pathetic life even more miserable by omitting foods which contain the letter A.”

In addition, the new flagship program is a reality show set in a lesbian bar, probably with some awful pun like Fannying Around for a title, and there are ongoing talks to lure the ‘it just won’t die!’ Big Brother franchise over.

As well as this high quality channel, Desmond also owns the Daily Star, which has recently come out in support of the English Defence League, and the Express, which as of last month was no longer classed as a newspaper.

Critics might argue that Mr Desmond is actively building an empire of mind-numbing trash and encouraging his media stations to cash in on morally vacuous and/or openly bigoted dross. I, however, put it to you that he is in fact the most intelligent social engineer the world has known.

I predict that the whole ‘relaunch’ thing is a smokescreen. In six months, Channel 5, as well as all other Desmond outlets, will undergo another rebranding and all be named ‘The Bad Thing’. Then, like a modern-day Pavlov, he will precede every article, every program, everything his organisation does, with the phrase ‘THIS IS BAD’. Thus, we will all eventually be conditioned to deplore racism, xenophobia, OK! magazine and anything involving Katie Price. In time Desmond will be known as a kind of deity, a man who subtly broke down the divides separating us, ushered in the Age of Peace, and he shalt become divine. Bankrupt, probably, but divine.

And just as the coming of Jesus was foretold by the passage of a star across the celestial sky, the dawn of the Age of Peace shall be foretold by the passage of Jeremy Kyle across the terrestrial channels, coming to rest on Channel 5, and hailed as the embodiment of ‘The Bad Thing’.

Of course, if my prophesy turns out to be wide of the mark, Richard Desmond will have a hell of a lot to answer for.

Yeah! Superbowl! Woo! Footbaaaalll!

These four words will make you look like a true NFL aficionado in any bar across the land tonight. They may also get you punched, but use this to your advantage by screaming ‘TOUCHDOWN!’ as you spit out your own teeth. You’ll be a god.

If any of the above sounded completely incomprehensible, don’t worry. You’re well on your way to becoming an expert. Tonight, thousands of otherwise self-respecting Brits will stay up all night watching fat Americans in spandex run headlong into each other again, and again, and again, until somebody is arbitrarily declared the winner about four hours later. If any sport sums up the modern USA perfectly it’s American Football:

1) It’s completely insane.

2) Nobody ever knows what is happening.

3) There’s a commercial break every 9 seconds.

4) The white guy stands back and takes all the credit while the black guys do all the hard          work. (risky joke alert)

If you’ve never had the pleasure of watching the Superbowl before, it’s one of the most incredible sporting spectacles on the planet. The sport itself is a side issue, obviously, but the whole event is a rich homage to the American dream: loud, garish and lacking in any real substance.

Most importantly for people on this side of the pond, the Superbowl offer a rare chance to stay up drinking until four in the morning on a Sunday and not be judged or offered ‘help’. This collective piss-up is the single main attraction of tonight, but in order to experience it to the full I’ve put together some tips so you can enjoy the game in true American style whilst remaining a drunken credit to Britain.

The Rantraverelax Superbowl Survival Guide

1) Get drunk early. Stay drunk late. This is crucial. The drunker you are, the more the game will seem to make sense and the louder you will inevitably become. It is actually illegal in the US to watch a game of football without being ‘absolutely steaming’. Allegedly the game was created whilst heavily under the influence, explaining why it makes no real sense but is very shiny.

2) Pick a side. For your information, tonight’s choice is the ‘Steelers’ or the ‘Packers’. What this means is irrelevant, just pick one and stick with it. Loudly. Until they begin to lose, then hastily change and shout louder for the other team.

3) Dress sensibly. Body paint is a must for any fan. Lot’s of body paint. If this fails, a priest’s cassock is an option for the more avant-garde spectator. If you’d like to be seen as some kind of football guru, wear a giant foam hand. This will impede drinking, but will earn you the respect of every other charlatan in the place who’s only there to drink and shout.

4) Snack often. American football offers a two-pronged assault on the stomach. One, it’s immensely dull. Two, every second advert is for something fried in butter dipped in chocolate; equating to exposure to fast food every twelve seconds. Nobody can realistically survive this combination without access to a simply grotesque store of fatty goods. Keep a deep fat fryer to hand, at all times, and be damned sure to use it.

5) Avoid the game at all costs. It’ll crush your soul. Aside from the halting pointlessness of the whole thing, each team comprises at least three hundred players, so you’ll never see the same person twice. Case studies have shown that any person who has ever watched a full game of football has gone, in medical terms, ‘fucking bat-shit crazy’ within four hours. Don’t make yourself that person.

6) You’re all in the same boat. So you don’t know the rules. Who cares? Recent research suggests that for every million viewers of American football, less than none have any real idea what’s going on. With this in mind, get creative. Bring out your best bullshit. Scream the words ‘FIRST DOWN’, ‘OO-RAH’, ‘GREAT D’ and ‘SACKED!’ every now and then to add a sprinkling of authenticity to your wild, rambling opinions.


Describe a time when you’ve quelled a major uprising…

…and then ordered a round of drinks for the entire population of sub-Saharan Africa. How did you go about this? What did you gain from the experience? What were the positive outcomes?

Seriously though, job applications are steaming mounds of bullshit.

If, like me, you’re ploughing through day after day of meaningless graduate job applications, trying to portray yourself as the second coming of Christ for a job you have little real interest in doing, you’ll get my drift.

At the same time, hats off to the sadistic sods who come up with the questions; maddeningly specific yet achingly vague at the same time, they are a lesson in how to drive people insane. I’ve only managed to do about ten and I’m considering writing the next one in my own blood just to make a point.

Two things make these rituals particularly grotesque. First is the obligation to show absolute commitment to whichever company you apply to. At least one question is always about why the company you’ve applied to is “bigger than Jesus” or “shits all over sliced bread”. And the expectation is to soothe the egos of large corporations like a doting parent to a sensitive child. “There there, Faceless Conglomerate, you’re very special and talented and you’re definitely the best Faceless Conglomerate out of all the Faceless Conglomerates in the world.”

Absolutely Required

And it’s all utterly meaningless. They know that you know that they’re just another homogeneous entity looking for fresh meat, and they know that the real reason you want to work for them is that they shove a wad of cash in your face every month. “I’ve always wanted to work for Barclays because sitting at a desk for 15 hours a day whilst slowly dying inside really thrills me” is essentially what you’re expected to say, whereas in reality it’s more like “I don’t particularly want to work for Barclays, in fact I imagine it’s dreadfully dull, but it’s better than nothing and the deadline was coming up and quite frankly I’ll whore myself to anyone for £25k a year. Seriously, If you want me to come to interview in nothing but a tutu, singing the Swedish national anthem and riding a miniature horse, I’d do it in a heartbeat. £25k!”

Somebody write that. Please?

Perhaps more soul-destroying than lying about the greatness of every company you apply to is the “personal qualities” section, where you lie about your own greatness. At length.

One question I recently answered was “Describe a time when you’ve when you’ve worked as part of a team to overcome a problem. How did you go about this? What role did you play in the team?” An honest response would be:

“I’m 21. I’ve spent the last 3 years getting a degree, and when I’ve not been getting a degree I’ve been getting drunk. Before I was getting a degree I was at school and have honestly no recollection of anything that happened. I can think of possibly one time a few months ago when we as a group ordered 10 Jagerbombs but only had enough money for eight, so we decided to go and get more cash. My role was to go and get more cash, which shows I am a leader. The positive outcome was that we got more Jagerbombs and I was sick in a hedge later.”

Instead we all go on smoke and mirrors exercises in half-truths and embellishment to the point where the whole thing becomes an exercise in bending the facts, and we all go to bed feeling slightly more disgusted with ourselves.

So I have a solution. Two solutions in fact. One is for us all to be honest and hope that pays off. “I’ve never had a specific interest in investment banking, I just like the prospect of rolling in crisp fifty pound notes.” After all, they always want you to be honest, but ironically you won’t get the job if you are.

My second, more creative solution is to write “See CV” to every question and then send something along the lines of this.

And then I’ll see you in the dole queue. Livin’ the dream guys!

UNRELATED NOTE: In what’s becoming a disturbing trend, here’s another video involving a cat.

And here’s some classic Morecambe and Wise. Because it’s genius.