They’re watching us, the poor bastards

In a completely unsurprising bombshell, it has been revealed that the Americans are watching you. Constantly.

In the midst of a whirlwind of outrage, bewilderment and people saying ‘well, duh’ as America sheepishly admits to a secret global internet monitoring programme, everyone appears to have overlooked the key point that the internet is 99.9% horseshit.

Seriously, have you been on the internet recently? I can’t imagine watching people online is a particularly rewarding job. Nobody has ever gone through any online comment stream and felt better about humanity or that they’ve gained a strong insight into human behaviour. Twitter is a stream of lies and inanity. Facebook is a place where people try and make their lives look good and still manage to look awful. Youtube is just cats. If you type ‘why is’ into Google the fourth most popular autocomplete is ‘why is my poop green’. Even this is just a full-grown* man writing silly words because he gets bored easily.

Can you imagine being one of the poor sods who has to trawl through all this shit? It wouldn’t exactly make for sparkling dinner conversation.

“What did you do at work today honey?”

“”I watched as a man from Utah post threatening yet poorly worded and almost incomprehensibly illiterate messages about Asian people on Twitter, then he spent two hours looking for instructions on how to make homemade explosives out of cheese whilst simultaneously watching cat videos and alternating between writing ‘OMG SO CUTE’ and outright racist comments. Then I’m pretty sure he had a wank.

“I then had to compile this all into a report for my boss without being physically ill.”

Another fine day at GCHQ.

Another fulfilling day at GCHQ.

If that was my job I’d spend a lot of time crying.

If anybody needs empirical proof of just how crap the internet is, have a watch of this and see everybody’s favourite shouty mentalist Alex Jones on Sunday Politics this morning (from about 3mins 30s). A hilarious watch if only for Andrew Neil and David Aaronovitch dealing with him like pros.

Alex Jones’ Youtube videos have been watched over 250 million times. Enough said.

Meanwhile, William Hague has today reassured us all by saying that law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear.

Which doesn’t sound like something from 1984 in any way shape or form.

*shut up.

Skincare adverts ‘based entirely on what genitals you have’

Advertising agencies have finally admitted that every deodorant, skincare or hair or fragrance advert they have ever created revolves completely on what their target audience have in their pants.

According to an industry spokesman, the whole game is run around the ‘willy/fanny method’ which determines exactly how your advert will run.

If your target audience has a penis, you will create an advert that visualises the following schema:

You’re a man.

You should be out drinking and watching sport with your exclusively male friendship group.

You shouldn’t have to worry about how your skin or hair looks, because you are not a woman.

Ha, women!

You should buy our product to make your skin feel great, even though we’ve already said you shouldn’t have to worry about your skin.

YOU SHOULD NOT FIND THIS CONTRADICTORY.

Look, attractive women want to have sex with you!’

Conversely, when advertising to women, the narrative is on the lines of:

‘You are a woman.

You are naturally strong and beautiful – we really can’t stress that enough.

Without constant attention and upkeep to literally every part of your body you will likely fall apart and die.

Buy our product to prevent the above.

Our artificial product with added technical jargon will help you maintain your natural beauty.

YOU SHOULD NOT FIND THIS CONTRADICTORY.

82% of women agree. (7 women asked, 5 under duress)

Look, the girls are here! Let’s watch a film.’

You need this to live

You need this to live

Batting off suggestions that these tired, laughable cliches are at best heroically outdated and at worst downright offensive, ad agencies have, if anything, stepped up their game recently.

Nivea for Men have developed an advert which spends the opening 20 seconds slagging off women and the remaining 5 seconds having a woman looking so impressed at a man’s newly-moisturised skin that she actually drove into the back of a van.

“This happens all over the world every day”, insisted a spokesman.

Boots and Sure, on the other hand, have been trying their hand at advertising to women.

Somebody at Sure appears to have been reading a book at some point and has seen the word ‘feminism’. They have then gone back into work and tried to make an ad with empowering, strong woman themes.

The result is a hilarious 30 seconds opening with the classic line ‘Strong women sweat.’ This is followed by various shots of incredibly angry looking women, mostly with short hair and tattoos, which is apparently the only thing that constitutes a ‘strong woman’.

[Aside: this is even better when watched with Youtube’s new auto-captions.]

“Strong women sweat. And glare. Other women don’t. This happens all over the world every day”, insisted a spokesman.

Boots, on the other hand, still hold the world record for most ridiculous commercial, working on the premise that it was a really sound idea to portray every woman in the world as a makeup-obsessed pack animal just dying to form part of a screaming herd and get on the Bacardi breezers.

This happens all over the world every day”, insisted a spokesman.

 

George Michael ‘surprisingly un-dead’

Is George Michael actually a human being?

Like a real one, without any animatronic or Wolverine-like qualities?

News has broken today that the singer/’singer’/national treasure/disturbing presence which occasionally haunts your dreams wielding an axe and a copy of his latest album [delete as applicable] fell out of a car at 70mph last week and walked away with nothing more than cuts, bruises and doubtless some new lyrics for another atrocious, atrocious song.

Three questions.

1) Why is this not bigger news? If it was Elton John there’d probably have been a live blog on the Guardian; you know, the exciting ones like “He’s fallen out of car”, “He’s still fallen out of the car”, “He’s still fallen out of the car – here are some of your tweets”. Something like that.

Instead, we’ve had roughly the same level of national fanfare as if I had fallen out of a car at 70mph and basically walked away. A small piece in the London Evening Standard, next to an article about a lady being reunited with a long lost cat – a front page in the Sun or the Mirror four or five days after the event with some gory-sounding witness testimony.

Right wing Conclusion: The world has been playing too many video games and has been desensitised to human suffering to the point where George Michael can fall out of a moving car on a motorway and the world shrugs its shoulders. We should ban video games.

Left wing conclusion: George Michael’s fame has waned somewhat. Why aren’t you outside, saving the NHS?

2) How is this physically possible? I like to think that if I fell out of a speeding vehicle onto any surface other than jelly or candy floss I would immediately develop the consistency of jam and spread myself liberally over a three mile radius. The T-1000 would struggle to withstand that kind of impact, and he was all mercury and stuff.

The fact that Mr Michael, if that is his real name, suffered only ‘superficial cuts and bruises’ whilst protected by nothing more than an Adidas tracksuit leads us to clear conclusions.

Right-wing conclusion: Homosexuals are made of iron and should not be trusted.

Left-wing conclusion: Adidas have stepped up their game in tracksuit-based protection, doubtless by exploiting poor children’s fine needlework skills. The bastards.

3) How is this physically possible? How does one go about falling out of a car in such a fashion? The story goes that George saw that a door was open and tried to open and close it, but then fell out of the car. At no point did it appear to cross his mind to say “Chaps, could we pull over and shut the door, it’s drafty in here”. I still fail to comprehend how a 49 year old functioning human being can fall out of a car on a motorway. The conclusion is simple.

Right wing conclusion: George Michael should sue the car manufacturer for poor safety. He should also sue the M1. He’s had an accident that wasn’t his fault. He should call claims direct. This is about individual freedom.

Left wing conclusion: How many fucking drugs was the man on? The state should legalise drugs really.

So there you have it. George Michael has fallen out of a car. Let us legalise drugs. Or sue somebody.

Errr...what?

Errr…what?

World going a bit wrong.

But enough of that, let’s talk about me.

Only kidding. I can’t be arsed.

So as it stands North Korea is still getting ready to launch some kind of nuke – possibly the nuclear equivalent of a spoon, but nonetheless, fucking nuke! Fuck! Panic!

We have also buried, at mind-boggling extravagance, an old lady who used to be famous but who by all accounts was just a bit racist in her latter years. And it was on telly. And the radio. And there was a webcast. And they closed roads. And put up signs. So that was rational.

Then somebody blew up some pressure cookers in Boston, which, like all bombings, was an utterly heinous and low act. It has also highlighted that the word ‘terrorism’ has now been so successfully hijacked to mean ‘brown people what wear dresses and have beards like’ that the President of the United States has to refrain from using it when an act of blatant terrorism – in the true sense – is carried out by somebody who might not be a Muslim.

It’s genuinely remarkable that the new conception of terrorism is totally reliant on the dichotomy of western democracy and fundamentalist Islam, of ‘us’ and ‘them’, and highlights just one of the many attempts to hegemonise the language of terror, and thereby create justification and truth (read: get away with anything), committed by western powers since 9/11.

Oh and scores of Iranians died in an Earthquake yesterday but nobody cares for the exact reason listed above.

Well that was fucking bleak wasn’t it? I bet you were expecting something funny, or at least something with funny pictures to hide the lack of content. Sorry. I’ll try harder next time.

It’s just that I got hit in the leg by a softball (misleading title, it transpires they’re actually made of hard) tonight, which has put me into a cynical mood. I’ll probably have an ice cream tomorrow and then write at length about how great the world is.

I think I’m quite fickle.

To apologise for this particularly wank post, here is a link to a blog with pictures of otters. It is both amusing and quite high brow.

And here is a link to some Irish people lampooning songs by taking the lyrics literally, with hilarious results.

“Ok, but don’t get it on my hair.”

HA. Funny.

 

 

Elderly woman dies

How much more coverage do we need?

And before you start, this is not a post about the death of Margaret Thatcher, it’s a post about all the articles about the death of Margaret Thatcher. So that smell is not hypocrisy, ok?

So to summarise the main news of the day, an 87-year old lady has sadly died of a stroke. And the country has lost its shit about it.

The BBC had a live blog going by about 10am. A live blog. For the death of an octogenarian. A headline would probably have done, given that the person was formerly of some note. A live blog implies developments – uncertain events unfolding at great pace, with people allowed to text in their completely irrelevant thoughts on the matter.

If we were expecting a resurrection, or perhaps the start of a terrifying Thatcher-zombie epidemic, that would have warranted a live blog. This did not. What else can they write apart from hourly updates involving variations on ‘she’s still dead’?, with Wayne from Hartlepool tweeting in to say ‘I think it is bad/good that she is dead’.

Did wear awesome jumpers though.

Did wear awesome jumpers though.

The Guardian have immediately ploughed in with a pretty low, thinly-veiled hatchet job containing the least genuine use of the phrase ‘there should be no dancing on her grave’ ever committed to paper.

If you flick over to the Telegraph you would be forgiven for thinking that Princess Diana had come back to life and then died again.

I presume the Mail has stopped working altogether, or else tomorrow’s edition will just be a small bucket of tears and semen.

Eww. Sorry. Too far. I apologise, I’m in a fairly ropey mood anyway after playing football tonight and having to mark my boss; which was a lot like marking a racehorse. My legs hurt.

Also, all of the TV networks seemed to have Thatcher memorial shows cut and ready to air by 7pm, which is a wee bit sick. The BBC one was voiced by Andrew Marr – you somehow doubt that was filmed too recently unless his powers of recovery are phenomenal.

If I knew that somebody had already lined up a show about my death whilst I was still alive I think I’d probably do something drastic like get a swastika tattooed on my chin, or punch a nun, just to show the presumptuous tossers.

All this bullshit, this torrent of love and hate, hyperbole and hysteria, is just wrong. It’s irrelevant. It’s hypocritical and it’s demeaning to everybody.

This whole practice of forgetting about people until the very moment they stop breathing defies logic, and makes us all look a bit petty.

Old lady dies. Pay respects. Move on.

 

Lies are the new truth, say various powerful people

The difference between telling the truth and telling an outright lie is much less clear-cut than once presumed, it has been claimed.

Whereas previously one would make a blatantly false statement and somebody else would turn round and say ‘That is a lie’, and one would have to accept that it was a lie, possibly resulting in a lengthened nose, the new trend is to simply repeat lies loudly and often in the hope that everybody will just give up arguing and say ‘Fine, it isn’t a lie’.

Way ahead of his time.

Way ahead of his time.

Politicians, who count amongst their ranks some of the premier trailblazers of the ‘true lie’ movement, have offered out a couple of excellent examples today.

First, Iain-Duncan Smith, the man who just doesn’t know when he should stop trying to do this whole politics lark, declared with a completely straight face that he could certainly live on the £53 a week that his genius welfare reforms will force some in this country to live on.

 

This is a good example of the true lie technique know as ‘complete-yet-tough-to-definitively-prove horseshit’- it helps defend a set of actions which are completely indefensible by making a ridiculous claim which the claimant knows he/she will never be called out on.

To call Iain-Duncan Smith out on this, sign the petition here.

The second, more advanced technique, known as ‘bastardly subterfuge’, was wheeled out by Tory party chairman Grant Shapps after he was asked to defend the bedroom tax. After failing to defend the tax on the grounds of it being thought up by particularly myopic morons, he tried to claim that his kids shared a room, which was surprising because it didn’t have any relevance to the subject under discussion. Then another person showed this to be a demonstrable lie, and then Shapps changed the subject by pointing out that his defence of the bedroom tax by claiming his kids shared a room didn’t have any relevance to the subject under discussion.

Most people then seemed to agree.

To summarise – be asked a question you don’t want to answer, evade it with a lie, wait for the lie to be called out, then point out that the lie was an evasion of the original question. Then sit back and watch as everyone forgets the original question.

That, my friends, is the pinnacle of lying. Hats off to you Grant Shapps, you terrible, cunning bastard.

The final manoeuvre was a somewhat less skilled affair emanating from the world of football. Deploying what is known in the trade as the ‘half Stalin’ tactic, Sunderland Football Club stated (of their new boss Paolo Di Canio):

“To accuse him now, as some have done, of being a racist or having fascist sympathies is insulting not only to him but to the integrity of this football club”

Despite Di Canio saying in an interview that he was a fascist. Despite this being on record. Despite receiving bans and fines for giving fascist salutes during football matches.

This is similar in theory and efficacy to walking into a police station with a friend, announcing that you are going to stab your friend, stabbing your friend, then denying that you stabbed your friend. Sadly, however, everyone will probably just forget about it by tomorrow.

So there you have it. Lies are now as good as truth and total bastards rule the Earth.

HAPPY EASTER!

You do understand the concept of March, don’t you?

Spring has sprung.

Spring has sprung.

Ah yes, March.

The first wafts of Spring. Winter receding into a memory of warm fires and mulled wine. Sunshine. Lambs. Buds on the trees. Thoughts of Summer, the promise of heat.

These are some of the more accepted traits of March.

Unfortunately, Britain appears to have eschewed the classical approach to March with a fresh, edgy look based on howling winds and arse-clenchingly low temperatures.

A bit of my face nearly fell off on the walk to work today. I had to stumble the last 20 yards trying to keep my nose in its normal position after it lost circulation and decided to try and jump ship. I’m genuinely amazed that both of my ears are still here.

It’s also started snowing aggressively. Snow is meant to be a graceful, meandering weather event; if it made a noise it would sound like tinkling glass in slow motion. Pretty.

Today I had to fend off a coordinated attack from what felt like a hail of frozen wasps, angrily buzzing around my head. A bit like the snow had been out all night on Jagerbombs and Stella and was feeling a bit fighty.

This is absolutely unacceptable. I was in the Alps last week. It was 11 degrees. To be honest, I found that a little unusual but I most certainly did not expect to come back home only to crave the sweet, warm embrace of the Aiguille Grive.

I really crave the sweet, warm embrace of the Aiguille Grive.

Around this time of year, I (being, at heart, a man in his mid-sixties) like to start referring to things as ‘mad as a March hare’. Well I can tell you, the March hare is mad this year. He’s absolutely fucking livid. He wants to be out frolicking around, gambolling and doing other things that March hares generally do to indicate the scale of their madness. But he can’t. He’s trapped under four feet of ice in his burrow just outside Chester. The March hare is not just mad, he’s completely livid.

Weather, sort it out. This is ridiculous.

In other news, am I the only one who physically shudders every time I see either Chris Huhne or Vicky Pryce?

Shut up. It’s food, not the renaissance.

I think I have to stop watching television.

Based on my extensive research, if you turn on the telly there is now a 103% chance that you will come across some kind of cookery show.

I used to like cookery shows. I used to like it when they cooked something that I might one day eat myself, like chicken doused in curry powder or something involving fish fingers. I didn’t even mind when it got a bit fancy; aspiration is good. As long as it was vaguely humble or realistic, and there was at least a tacit acknowledgement that they what they were actually making was food and not a recreation of the happy tears of God, that was pretty much fine.

I’ve been drawn into Great British Menu recently. In much the same way a bear trap draws you in – whenever I encounter it I end up swearing, shouting and missing a leg.

Again, the first series, fine. This series, however, has disappeared so far up its own arse that it’s trying to serve it’s own kidneys as a delicious amuse bouche with some duck’s milk creme fraiche.

Last week I watched a man, who is paid to professionally cook food, that he was going to create a witty deconstruction of a kebab.

He then proceeded to just make a kebab. A regular doner kebab. He then served it in a kebab box. He then put it in a bag.

Creamy. Unctuous. Aggressively avant garde. A revolution!

Creamy. Unctuous. Aggressively avant garde. A revolution!

Today another man made a salad, then put it in a box with a barcode on it. Like they do in exclusive shops like Tesco. The voiceover described it as ‘quirky’ at least nine times and then his fellow contestants fawned over how quirky it was to serve a salad in a box.

They ought to come to my work cafe, they’ll have a fit.

I know food has a propensity to get a bit wanky, but we’ve now reached new heights in self-aggrandising bollocks. This isn’t just restricted to the tellybox. In London you can’t move without walking into the next hot Japanese-Ethiopian fusion indie new popup inside a functioning crack den where everything is cooked by trained pianists using irons and served by people who hate you.

And the language! I won’t go into a restaurant any more unless the grub has been described as orgasmic, groundbreaking, edgy, clever and overtly sexual – anything less suggests that somebody may have shat in the fairtrade peas. Even if you want something simple as sausage and mash in even a mediocre pub restaurant you now have to read a brief statement indicating the pig’s breed, name and marital status. This vital information also appears to lead to a £4 surcharge on your dish. I do not care whether the pork was rare breed or found wandering drunk along the M4. It’s now in a sausage.

Don’t get me wrong, I love food. I’m an eater. But please, please can we get over this bullshit?

I had toast for dinner. It was brilliant.

Jeremy Hunt “to be limited to 12 weeks”

It has been revealed today that everybody is strongly in favour of terminating chronic failure Jeremy Hunt in no more than 12 weeks.

In an interview with the Times, the comedy MP announced, completely unprompted, that he would be in favour of reducing abortion limits from the current limit of 24 weeks to 12 weeks, based on what he claimed was “a hunch”.

“Here’s my evidence”

Exasperated medical expert and rational human being Dr Alice Benning responded with surprise:

“This clown again? Seriously? This is the man whose personal view thought that Rupert Murdoch and his chums were a fine bunch of fellows to be running the British media; his opinion is not valid at the best of times.

“He reckons that after studying the ‘evidence’ he’s come to the conclusion that abortion limits should be drastically cut. One: What evidence? He’s probably going to say it’s the Bible, isn’t he? Two: What gives this prick any right whatsoever to think that he, or any other politician for that matter, can make decisions which govern what women do with their own bodies? Three: Who made this absolute buffoon health secretary?!”

David Cameron, the man who made this absolute buffoon health secretary, was quick to defend the constant disappointment he’s put in charge of the NHS:

“It’s an issue of conscience, and he is absolutely entitled to hold an individual view”, said the PM with an absolutely straight face, before adding “it’s not like he has the power to act on it anyway, what department is he in now?…..SHIT.”

Thankfully, it was later announced that some people had studied some evidence and come to the conclusion that Mr Hunt’s own limit on being in a position of any responsibility should be, at most, 12 weeks, and that they “just felt that that’s the point where political careers end.”

Here’s hoping.

 

Clegg ‘really has fucked up quite badly’

In a frank interview with the BBC’s half man, half spider Andrew Marr this morning, embattled Nick Clegg admitted candidly that he’d done almost the exact opposite of everything he set out to do when he took over the leadership of the Lib Dems.

“I don’t know what’s happened. I went into politics to be honest, to be a fighter, to stand up for the needy and vulnerable, to do the right thing. Ever since I got in league with the Tories that really just hasn’t been on the agenda.

“I’ve also become a compulsive liar. Remember when I said I was going to cut tuition fees? I lied, plain and simple. But I can promise you today that from now on I’ll be doing my utmost to change this.

“See, lying again. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

Clegg also used the public showing to describe his plans for what he won’t be doing in the future. He indicated that he would be using all of his available power to make sure that any imminent austerity measures ‘were not put on the backs of the poor’, but had to confess that when he’d put this strong argument to David Cameron, the Prime Minister had laughed at him and then continued to ride around on the backs of the poor in a hearty game of peasant polo whilst George Osborne loitered outside Whitehall mugging anyone not wearing tweed.

“So basically I’m fucked”, sighed the spineless whelp.

Despite this definite no-win situation, the Tories’ human-shield-in-chief was surprisingly optimistic about his future, saying he ‘would not flinch’, even when George was flushing his head down the toilet as he is wont to do between 10-11 Mondays to Thursdays.

“When you are halfway up a mountain, you should not bail out”, declared Clegg, before adding: “Even if you have lost all of your equipment, have only Ming Campbell for food and Danny Alexander for company, and are surrounded by hordes of angry yetis who are determined to throw you off the mountain.”

“Oh, and your best friend is Teresa May. Pass me the vodka would you?”