Sunday, 29 April 2007

Stay Here Harry

The Prince Harry story is continuing to dominate story lines with the will he or won't he get sent to Iraq headlines.
The general consensus seems to fall into two camps, the yes he should because he is a soldier camp and the no he shouldn't because his presence will put his colleagues in greater danger.
For the record i agree with the second camp, the unit he controls will come under even more severe fire as the insurgents target the third in line.
What is not being mentioned is the short-sightedness of the Army who must of seen this coming when the Royal very first scraped the A levels needed to qualify for Army Officer training.
Maybe they were hoping that the Iraq war would be all done and dusted by the time he finished training thus avoiding such a scenario.
If he does have to go then maybe he should not be in the front-line and be stuck 'in the rear with the gear' if only for the safety of his fellow soldiers who have enough to contend with without having a highly prized target in their midst attracting even more enemy fire to them like some sort of RPG magnet.

A Bit Of Fry & Laurie

Britain has been responsible for sending many actors and actresses over to the states only for them to come back with their tails between their legs. At last two of our finest have popped up on US television and i sincerely hope that they get every success their talent deserves.
Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie were never the biggest or boisterous comedians, they were always that bit more cerebral for some peoples tastes, but they have been plugging away since the early 80's on TV here.
Hugh Laurie is currently appearing in 'House' and gaining quite a reputation for his portrayal as a socially inept medical man.
Stephen Fry has been appearing as the eccentric Englishman in 'Bones' with David Boreanaz. They may not be our biggest stars but they are far and away the most deserving and i genuinely wish them well.
It doesn't make up for most of the dullards that have made the same trek and you have got David Beckham and his God-awful wife washing up there imminently not forgetting Ricky Gervais. You can keep them, we don't want that trio back.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Shatner In Space

Richard Bransons plans to begin Space Tourism in 2009 is ploughing along nicely and is at such an advanced stage that the initial flight to the stars at £200,000 a seat, is taking bookings. Financially out of reach of most common or garden human's, the beardy Virgin boss is reporting a strong interest from celebrities and stating that the maiden voyage will be filled to the gills with our planets finest include Victoria Principal, William Shatner, Paris Hilton, Morgan Freeman, Madonna, Prince Harry and Sigourney Weaver.
Now far be it from me to hope that this fine bunch of actors, royals, singers and whatever it is Paris Hilton does, be stranded on some far flung planet but this would not be my first choice of companions on trip to the local newsagents, let alone into space.
My concern is that as this fine crew are pinging through space, we meet up with an alien life form and this bunch are our representatives of Planet Earth. Christ, we would be incinerated as a waste of atmosphere.
Either we send up some proper people who won't make us all look like arse's in the unexpected event of inter-planetary communication or at least cut the fuel pipe.
And as movies have shown us, i would certainly avoid avoid arming Sigourney Weaver or letting Shatner anywhere near a script.

A Lifetime Of Stats

"Stats can prove anything" so says anyone who is losing an argument but there was a programme on the ever excellent Channel 4 the other night that bombarded the viewer with a bunch of stats that made you go 'hmm'.
Ever wondered how much milk you will drink in your lifetime? 15,913 pints apparently.
Here is what the average person gets up to in his or her lifetime.
We fart 35,815 times which is not surprising as the average person eats the equivalent of 15 pigs, 5 cows, 1300 chickens and 23 sheep. The vegetarian trouser trumpets could be accredited to the 10,866 carrots, 4,398 loaves of bread, 14,856 eggs and 5,757 apples we scoff. Still, the aromatic smell emanating from our backsides doesn't put us off having sex 4239 times.
We will drink 7,153 pints of beer, 79,481 cups of tea (it was an English show) and 998 bottles of wine all which means plenty of trips to the lavatory to rid ourselves of 254 lites of urine.
We take 7,163 baths and use 302 cans of deodorant (numbers may vary in France obviously). Everyone knows 1,700 people in their lifetime and spends £1,537,380 with £12,924 of it going on clothes. Smokers inhale 77,000 fags and we will know 25,000 words but will speak 56,618,100 words.
Don't know how they worked it all out but i may have to borrow some cigarette and alcohol allowance off somebody.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Cats Suck.

When i was a small girl, we briefly took in a cat for a relative who was going away to Scotland or some such hell-hole for a few weeks. The idea of a joyful, bundle of fur to play with soon lost it's sheen as it slowly dawned on me, along with scratches, that cats and I are not compatible.
It seems that more people are coming to the same conclusion because the RSPCA has asked us to stop dumping our felines with them.
The animal Charity has coughed up a furball in horror at the number of cats it is being called upon to rescue which account for over a third of all their unwanted pets.
"Sadly, there do now seem to be cycles in which one pet is more fashionable than another," says an animal inspector taking a short break from litter tray duty no doubt, "It could be that handbag dogs or pit bull-type animals are in fashion and that could leave no room for a cat in the home. We have even had cats handed in because they didn't match the new carpet."
Just think if we could extend that decor logic to men.
I'm sorry but your pasty white skin clashes with my magnolia walls. It's over.
And take your bloody horrible cat with you.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Jessica Lynch Pop's Propaganda Bubble

Sometimes you have to to stand back and applaud someone who refuses to take the easy option and stand up for what they believe, despite the possible consequences. Former US private Jessica Lynch is sure to face a character assassination along the lines of Cindy Sheehan from the pro-War and pro-Bushites but you have to admire the way she condemns efforts to turn her into a "little girl Rambo", and accused military chiefs of using "elaborate tales" to try to make her into a hero of the Iraq war.
The easy thing to do would be to allow the plaudits and fame to wash over her and achieve instant fame but instead she has taken the much bumpier road of the truth.
The Pentagon initially put out the story that Private Lynch had been wounded by Iraqi gunfire but kept fighting until her ammunition ran out. In fact, her gun had jammed and she did not fire a shot.
Reports also suggested that Ms Lynch had been abused after she came round in the hospital. She said the reports were lies and she had been treated well and the Iraqis had tried to return her to US forces.
Yet more lies and propaganda by the perpetrators of this devastatingly wrong war uncovered.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Bye Bye Boris

Boris Yeltsin died today and his remaining image will forever be him stood upon the tank outside the Russian parliament building and calling upon his supporters to resist a coup of hard-line Communists who had seized power from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Everyone and his dog is going to mention about his achievements and failures so i am going to mention one of the stories that summed up the man. 1994 and on a trip back to Russia after a G-7 economic summit meeting in Canada, Yeltsin landed in Ireland to meet with the Irish prime minister at the airport. Hours passed with Irish officials still waiting on the tarmac for a ceremonial appearance by the two leaders. Suddenly a Russian officials scuttled down the stairs of the aircraft to announced that Yeltsin was 'too tired' to meet with the Irish prime minister.Much embarrassment followed but Yeltsin was safely sleeping off his hangover back in Russia when it emerged that he had actually been smashed out of his skull on vodka.He did some good things and he did bad things but he will always be the drunk Russian who was too pissed to get off the plane to me.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

There'll Always Be an England

The 23rd April is St. George's Day where us English celebrate all things English. Not the nasty bit when we took over half the world and murdered the local inhabitants, just the good bits. Brushing under the carpet the imperialist killing machine that we were (and still are some would say), it's time to stop and think just what we could do to celebrate this great nation of ours.
The typical England Day would have to begin with a full English breakfast of bacon (Danish), croissants (French), freshly squeezed orange juice (Spanish) and a lovely cup of tea (Indian).
Then all the family will troop outside to the garden and salute the George Cross to a traditional English tune, Wannabe by the Spice Girls or maybe Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols.
This could be followed by silent contemplation on just who buys Rolling Stones records and whether hanging would be to good for them. Then it's the grand old British tradition of binge drinking, getting so tanked up that you can barely stand and starting a fight with the closest person to you at the time.
Should be good.

Happy B'day Queenie

I was once asked to write an article titled "What's wrong with the Monarchy". I replied that the newspaper only had 48 pages and i would never be able to fit it all in.
I had planned to write a post about Elizabeth II celebrating her 83rd Birthday today but apart from being curtseyed at and waving, the Queen doesn't actually do or say much. So to commemorate Her Maj's surviving another year on the planet, here are some of her hubby's greatest gaffs.
"If you stay here much longer you'll all get slitty eyed." speaking to British students in China. "You are a woman, aren't you?" to a Kenyan woman who had just given him a gift.
"You can't have been here that long. You haven't got a pot belly." to a Brit in Budapest.
"You managed not to get eaten, then?" to a student who had been trekking in Papua New Guinea.:
"How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?" to a driving instructor in Scotland.
"Aren't you descended from pirates?" to a Cayman Islander.
"It looks like it was put in by Indians." after seeing a fusebox in Edinburgh.
"If it has got four legs and isn't a chair, if it has got two wings and isn't a plane, and if it swims and isn't a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it." at a World Wildlife Fund meeting.
"Do you still throw spears at each other?" to an Aborigine in Australia.
"So you can write then?" to a 14 year old who had written to the Queen inviting her to visit Essex.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Any Link Here?

It is always a contentious subject but violent films inspiring real life violence should be thrown in the ring along with lax gun laws and mental illness as possible motives behind acts like we witnessed this week.
US Police are investigating whether Cho Seung-Hui was copying scenes from the Japanese film 'Oldboy' when he murdered 32 people with
Officers believing he repeatedly watched this particular film.
The top gun-to-head picture looks eerily similar to the actors pose from the film but that is a very familiar pose i have seen many times before. It is the hammer wielding image below that makes the link between the film and his mindset.
The fact that he seems to have been influenced by the film will rightly re-ignite the debate over whether violence in movies can lead to people becoming more violent themselves.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Such A Classy Broad

I have never been much of a fan of Ozzy Osbournes other half, she has always struck me as a stroppy cow and was never taken in by all that cutesy bumff stuff she does in that irritating voice. Thus i feel vindicated in thinking what a horrible piece of work she is after her attack on Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone age.
After stating that his band will not be playing Ozzfest, the queen of cosmetic surgery calmly retorted,"I hope he gets syphilis and dies. I hope his dick fuckin' falls off so his mother can eat it" Classy lady we are dealing with here as she proved in the interview where she admitted sending her own excrement to people she felt had criticised her.
Her bowels must of been working overtime after her brief stint as a chat show host which sank like a Russian submarine as everyone and their dog panned her inability to perform the basic tasks such as reading cue cards and conducting interviews.In 1989 Ozzy was arrested for attempted murder after trying to strangle his wife so i would hate to think what she sent him after that, with a classy lady like her it's probably best not to think too hard about it.

Mum, Can I Have A Rapist Doll?

When i was a young girl the Star Wars figures were big business, as i recall i had a Princess Leah and a Chewbacca.
Cindy & Barbie dolls have often got a bit of a kicking for portraying an unattainable female image to young kids so heaven knows what was going through the minds of the executives sat in the merchandising meeting for the new Tarantino film 'Grindhouse'.
Some bright spark, possibly high or just ridiculously insensitive, pitched the idea for action figures from the film so now we can hear the screeching tones of kids demanding 'Rapist Number One' emanating from the aisles of Toys R Us.
So who is this toy aimed at considering the film is sure to be an 18? If you have a child that actually sees this flick and recognizes the figure than perhaps your parenting should be questioned.
If you are over 18 and yet want an action figure doll then you really should get out more.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Bryan Ferry & The Nazi's

Whenever I cast my minds eye in the direction of Bryan Ferry, i see him looking suave with a suit jacket slung casually over his shoulder. The man my mum actually called 'Phwaor' and my dad called 'ponce', may not of had a decent song since Lets Stick Together but he has hit the headlines with a subject more prickly than a Mohican hedgehog.
Just how long is a decent length of time before murderous regimes become acceptable? Ferry is being diced and chopped for saying that the Nazi's icons were aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Obviously 60 odd years is not long enough judging by the reaction but how long was it before the Vikings stopped being murderous savages who raped, pillaged and killed anything and everything and become cuddly blonde, bearded figures? Genghis Khan hacked and stabbed his way across Europe & Asia but is regarded as one of history's greatest warriors and the Pirates and Roman Army have had some great PR men working on their causes because they have a very romantic image these days.
Napoleon left Josephine at home most nights as he tried to conquer Europe by force 200 years before Hitler had a go at the same thing. So how long can we leave it before saying nice things about the Nazi regime, maybe the German fans wearing funny WW1 German helmet with a spike on the top at sports events in much the same way as the Scandinavians wear funny horned viking helmets.
Obviously not yet so put down the Swastika armband Bryan.

Monday, 16 April 2007


And so it goes on. 32 dead, blasted to death in a chained up classroom.
Everyone knows my position guns. Their only function is to kill, that is their one and only purpose and this senseless slaughter is bound to re-open the US gun debate which will pit gun nuts trying to justify their stance on guns despite yet another shooting spree, against the anti-gun lobby just as rabid in their stance.
What seems to be over looked is the reasons behind why these shooting seem to occur which such frequency. It was not that long ago we were debating the Amish shooting so what drives a person to pick up a weapon and go shoot others? Are all these shooters just crazies who just happen to live in America or is their something in society that creates them?
Is it the increasingly violent films available or maybe the moody music being listened to?Could it be the breakup of the family or is society creating such a lack of empathy for others that another persons life is of such little consequence?
Could it be the gun culture that sees guns in the home of many Americans which breeds familiarity and contempt for the weapons?
Whatever the reason, the debate will be about gun control but what should be addressed is just what drives these people to pick up a gun and kill other people in such a cold blooded manner and with such terrifying frequency.

Friday, 13 April 2007

I'm Bloody Hopeless

I don't often get things wrong, but when i do, i am always happy to admit it. Take the time a few seconds ago when i wrote "I don't often get things wrong", for example.
Anyone who has read or heard anything i have written will already have suspicions that I am never, ever to be trusted. Not with secrets, certainly not with booze over 37.5%, but especially not on the matter of who's sang what effing song.
My Sharona was by the Knack and not The Ramones as someone not a million miles away previously stated and was rightly corrected by Stephen and Don.
In my Chords book it is under the Ramones and because it is written in something suspiciously resembling my handwriting, i must pull back my shoulders, stick out my chin and be ready to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous mislabelling.
Still, cracking song though.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

IVF Decision Splits Genders

It has been quite a while since an issue sprang up that divided people along the lines of gender. Natallie Evans and her boyfriend underwent IVF treatment after cancer treatment left her infertile.
Six embryos were frozen but the couple separated before the embryos could be implanted in Ms Evans’s womb and her former partner later changed his mind about having children. He refused permission for his ex to use the embryos and wanted to destroy them while his former girlfriend wanted to use them to have children.
After five years of courtrooms, the highest European Court has refused her permission to use the embryos and has ordered them to be destroyed.
She argued that her former partner had already consented to the creation, storage and use of the embryos and that it was unfair for him to be allowed to alter his decision.
I can see both sides of this particular argument but i do find myself coming down on the side of the man. The bottom line is he withheld his permission, although i also feel for the woman who has lost her only chance of having children.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

The Rage Music List

Arthur has tagged me, so here's a list of 20 songs I would submit to Rage's be-a-guest-programmer-for-a-night competition if I were given a free run at the archives:

Teenage Kicks - The Undertones
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
November Rain - Guns N Roses
Jesus of Suburbia - Green Day
Black Parade - My Chemical Romance
New Rose - The Damned
Sound Of The Suburbs - The Members
I Don't Want To Grow Up - Ramones
My Sharona - Ramones
The Music that nobody Likes - Carter USM
Sweet Child O Mine - Guns N Roses
Creep - Radiohead
Jeremy - Pearl Jam
Ace of Spades - Motorhead
Anarchy in The Uk - Sex Pistols
My Way - Sid Vicious
Beatsie Boys - Fight For Your Right
One - Metallica
Kids arn't alright - Offspring

The rules specify that I have to justify at least five of these choices. So:
Teenage Kicks - Probably the perfect song with a riff so sharp you could grate cheese on it.
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana started and ended the Grunge thing for me and this song encapsulates the early 90's next generation punk movement.
I Don't Want to Grow Up - Ramones tunes are notoriously easy to play on the guitar but they had some cracking songs and i just like the lyrics to this one.
The Music That Nobody Likes - Carter were the ultimate early 90's punk band. Came from nowhere, gained notoriety by punching a music host live on TV and disappeared again. Brilliant lyrics, buzz saw guitars and some mighty fine angry punk songs.
Sweet Child O Mine - Guns N Roses just seemed to self destruct but it was always about Slash for me and this riff is incredibly hard to replicate but shows why he is regarded, in my eyes, as the greatest guitar player i have ever heard.

I am now tagging fellow punk fans Cody, The Intolerant One and Fez Monkey.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Is This Guy For Real?

I have to admit not knowing much about Senator John McCain apart from him being firmly in the George W Bush camp.
I didn't even know he and a few Republican buddies had visited Iraq until I saw the pictures of them strolling confidently down the middle of Baghdad Market and then at the press conference afterwards where he claimed "Things are getting better, there are encouraging signs".
That's excellent news and now all we have to do to make Iraq habitable again is undertake the same minor precautions McCain undertook before his little jaunt.
Send in soldiers to search for explosives, set up a perimeter and secure the neighbourhood. Deploy a few sharpshooters on rooftops. Don a flak jacket, travel by a Humvee to the market and surround yourself with up to 100 armed soldiers while three Black Hawk helicopters and two Apache gunships patrolled the skies above.
It really is as simple as that if the locals want to get back from the market-place in one piece.

Making Money From Incarceration

Furore ensued after the 15 sailors captured by Iran sold their stories to the highest bidder. I am not against the former hostages making a few pound out of their experiences, the tabloids have been full of every Tom, Dick and Sally who had a story to tell over the last decade so it was to be expected really.
What i do expect to happen, and by all accounts is going to happen, is the twisted tales that are going to emanate courtesy of the MOD looking to cover their backs over the whole sordid adventure.
Stories of psychological torture and sub-human conditions look pretty pathetic when the latest pictures from Tehran show the 15 sitting around a table full of food laughing, joking and waving for the camera.
Yes, they probably were terrified and scared but compare their brief incarceration to those held at Guantanemo Bay or Abu Ghurayb and it puts things into perspective. Make your money but don't paint things as even a fraction of what some of the other hostages are having to deal with because they will not be sent back home in a new suit and clutching a goody bag.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Same Old Boring, Easter Morning

The guy who lives across the hall from me is some sort of religious minister. Every year we exchange Easter eggs and Christmas cards and occasionally he will try and 'save my soul' by trying to get me to pop along to his church. Of course we have got into many debate's about God and Christ and all that jazz and it is always pointed out that i do not believe in God but i partake in religious festivals such as Christmas and Easter. He tends to believe that i have deep psychological struggles with the whole religion thing and also believes that at some point in the future i will succumb to God. Pretty unlikely as i have managed to get along the past 38 years poo pooing religion as a load of pants.
That said, i am driving halfway across the country today to visit my family and deliver Easter Eggs to another group of people who totally dismiss religion. So the point is, should Atheists partake in religious holidays with all it's chocolate egg giving or has Easter become just a long weekend with chocolate with any religious undertones long forgotten?
I am sure i will ponder on it for a while during the journey down the motorway, or alternatively i will slam in my new OI!! Punk CD and belt out The Sound of The Suburbs.
Enjoy your choccy everyone.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Boxing's Dangerous Mismatch

As a girly there is a perception that us of the fairer sex do not know much about sport. Admittedly i wouldn't know the rules of rugby even if i got smacked on the bonce with them, and the same goes for boxing.
Since the Eubank/Watson fight ended with Michael Watson in a coma and brain damaged there has always been an uneasiness surrounding the sport. The visit by the blind and brain damaged ex-boxer Gerald MClelland to our shores last month drives home just how brutal and unforgiving it can be.
That said, and i do get an earful from fellow peaceniks for this, but i like to watch boxing. I also like to watch reality TV but when the two come together, i smell something rotten.
This evening, the runner up in the US reality show The Contender is taking on our very own Joe Calzaghe. As Joe is the current World Super-Middleweight Champion and is unbeaten in 40 fights, the challenger is not expected to hang around long.
What worries me is that Peter Manfredo jnr is out of his depth, out of his league and is going to lose royally. As the bookies have Calzaghe as 50-1 on to win, everyone is expecting it to be horribly one sided.
In most sports that would be a hiding to embarrassment but in boxing, it is just downright dangerous. Manfredo should not be in the same ring as Joe. If he was good enough he would of risen up the ranks and not had to qualify by coming second in a reality show.
I hope Joe wins and i hope that Manfredo comes out of it with little more than his pride bruised and a thick pay packet, but in such a dangerous sport i find it reckless to present such a mismatch as entertainment.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Canadian Puddle Drinkers

Every year about this time since i can remember, i have taken part in the annual ritual of ticking off the Canadians.
As not to disappoint, i am about to do it again and place any supporters of the brutal Canadian seal cull on a par with the sort of person who drinks puddles of rainwater.
I usually drag out my 'big book of why Seal Culling is wrong' and then get into a debate about it and quote statistics and such but it really doesn't move the argument on any further so what's the point?
Actually, there is a lot of point because Belgium and Germany have both implemented a ban on seal products and some of the UK supermarkets we have been urging to ban Canadian fish products for years have signed up to keep the fish labelled with "Produce of Canada" off it's shelves.
Maybe we are getting somewhere after all.
That's one in the eye for you lot of puddle drinking baby seal killers.

Decisions Decisions

John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, dubbed the British government’s performance in dealing with Iran as 'pathetic'.
A senior American commander in the Gulf has said his men would have fired on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard rather than let themselves be taken hostage .
Right wing blogs everywhere are bravely stating the Brits should of gone out with all guns blazing rather than be taken hostage.
Of course everyone has an opinion on what the 15 sailors should have done or not done, but from where i am sitting there are 15 sailors still alive who would certainly not be if they had started firing their weapons.
Alive and captured or dead.
Is it really only me who sees these choices as a no brainer?