Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Pop Star Put Downs

Lily Allen was always a bit of a loose cannon and her put down of toilet attendant punching Cheryl Cole (as she was known then) after Cole said she looked like: 'a chick with a dick' was a whithering "taking your clothes off, doing sexy dancing and marrying a rich footballer must be very gratifying, your mother must be so proud'.
Another great put down was Paul Weller when asked if he would do a duet with James BLunt was he would 'rather eat my own shit' so that was a no then.
The Gallagher brothers are always entertaining, Noel said Liam only had two faults, 'everything he says and everything he does' and the brilliant 'a man with a fork, in a world of soup'.
Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan got into a spat with Courtney Love and said she should 'go somewhere nice and live off your husband’s money' which is up there with Frank Zappa's response to Al Gore's wife about parental advisory labels on albums by the perfectly reasonable response of 'May your shit come to life and kiss you on the face'.
Ozzy Osbourne said Gary Moore didn't make it into Black Sabbath as he 'had a had a face like a welders bunch' and Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts responded to Mick Jagger calling him his drummer bu punching him on the nose and explaining that 'i'm not your drummer, you're my f**king singer'
When questioned if Ringo was the best drummer in the world, John Lennon responded that he wasn't even the best drummer in The Beatles while Keith Richards response to Bob Dylan that he could have written Satisfaction but Richards could never have written 'Desolation Row' responded that 'I wouldn't have wanted to'.
Personal favourite is Boy George on Elton John: 'All that money dear, and she's still got hair like a f**king dinnerlady'.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Right Wing Wish List Post Brexit

A blueprint for a trade deal between the UK and the US post-Brexit has been posted online by the right-wing European Research Group of Conservative MPs so let's see what they want to replace the deals we currently have with the European Union.
First up it wants to remove tariffs and EU regulations so we can accept GM foods, chlorine-washed chicken, hormones in meat, pesticides and chemicals in cosmetics.
The free trade deal also proposes opening up the National Health Service, education and legal services to foreign competition and privatisation and the freedom of movement between the UK and USA for workers.
So if you like your chicken full of chlorine, chemicals in your make up, paying for NHS treatment and your jobs taken by Americans rather than Europeans then you should get behind the Boris Johnson's and Jacob Rees-Mogg's of the Government.
Everyone else with a working brain-cell better pray that Theresa May isn't replaced by any of these fringe whack-a-doodle Tories who see this aberration as a good thing for our country.

Stormy Daniels: Full Disclosure

'Trump’s penis is smaller than average but not freakishly small. He knows he has an unusual penis. It has a huge mushroom head. Like a toadstool.
I lay there, annoyed that I was getting fucked by a guy with Yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart.'
I can never play Super Mario Brothers ever again.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Unaffected By Katie Hopkins Plight

You wouldn't want to see anybody get sacked and go bankrupt apart from possibly Katie Hopkins but by a massive stroke of luck that's exactly who has filed for an insolvency agreement.
That comment about 'poor people in debt had no-one to blame but themselves' is sure to get another airing as she joins the poor people after being found guilty of libelling food writer Jack Monroe on Twitter and being ordered to pay substantial damages.
In her time, the big mouth, right wing mouth-piece has been sacked by radio station LBC after channelling her inner Nazi to proclaim that the UK must find a 'final solution' to terrorism and dropped by the Daily Mail for claiming that parts of Britain were in the grip of a 'Muslim mafia' and that there was 'institutionalised discrimination against whites'.
The Sun Newspaper of all places rejected her views that migrants were 'cockroaches' and the sight of dead refugees floating in water left her unaffected.
Given the Hopkins’s track record for making offensive statements, there is unsurprisingly little sympathy for her current financial predicament but one less right-wing view is always gratefully received.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Best Theme Tunes

It may basically be mood music but some Theme Tunes have become as famous as the shows that they are opening. 
John Logie Baird said that his newly invented television would revolutionise the world of entertainment but as the world of entertainment up until then had consisted of Charlie Chaplin waving his cane in an amusing manner and walking like he had hemorrhoids, it wasn't much of a boast.
Television has given us some amazingly good theme tunes such as Red Dwarf, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Rawhide, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, A Team, Dr Who, Dogtanian, The Aadams Family and Blackadder.
Jamie & The Magic Torch is a favourite, far too good to be wasted on a cartoon about a boy with a Torch which opens a portal to Cuckoo Land.
I had always assumed that Buffy's intro music by Nerf Herder would be the best theme tune ever but a recently acquired CD of music from TV shows has made me reconsider and wonder if possibly the theme tune to 60's show The Munsters is the best title music out there.
The secret to a good theme tune is that as the programme starts you still have it whirring around in your head which was a bonus for shows such as The Fall Guy and Airwolf which generally slumped seconds after the music finished or in the case of the former, as soon as the announcer had finished the sentence "And now the Fall Guy".
Bloody awful and Majors sang the theme tune with the line 'I die for a livin’ in the movies and TV'. Yep, you sure did.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Dancing In The Moonlight

I've never understood why Michael Jackson called his backwards walking dance move the moonwalk because it looking nothing like the way astronauts walked on the moon but although there are probably more songs about the Sun, the Moon is the second most written about Solar System object unless there is a hatful of songs about the Van Allan Belt i have missed all these years.
Sinatra want to fly to it, the Police were walking on it and REM don't believe they put a Man on it but our closest celestial neighbour has inspired musicians throughout history.
As i own a small bit of the moon, the Vestine crater on the right hand edge between 1 and 2 o'clock, i have been looking to see if  any bands owe me copyright money but no luck so far although if NASA plan to build a lunar base anytime soon then i know of a prime piece of lunar real estate in a desirable location with great views of the Earth that we could negotiate. 
Bowie sang about Mars, Venus has a few but they are more about the Roman Goddess of love, Train sang about Drops of Jupiter but of the other gas giants, barely a mention although the Vengaboys did released a song called 'Rocket To Uranus' but with a chorus of 'let's have a party on Uranus' and 'Uranus is so pretty' i don't think it was really about the seventh planet from the Sun.
Expanding out further, songs about Stars would probably challenge the number of songs about our Sun but there is something beautiful, romantic and a bit sinister about the Moon and anyway, if a pop star finds something that rhymes with the Vestine Crater then i'm moonwalking backwards all the way to the bank. Kerching!!

Use Your Illusions...Nevermind

The last thing i want to come across as is one of those clapped out old 40-somethings venting her fury on the bands of today not being as worthy as the bands of yesterday. The real shame is that the bands of today are NOT as worthy as the bands of yesterday so us 40 somethings have no choice but to vent our fury on the subject. It's your own fault kids of today, not ours.
We should have put away our ripped, faded jeans and converse trainers a long time ago but since the early 90s there has been a void in music, a couple of decades of insipid pap offered up and although it probably isn't wise to take advice from a man who sang 'I swear that I don't have a gun' just before he blew his brains out with a shotgun, Kurt Cobain did predict it when he said: 'It's sad to think what the state of rock'n'roll will be in 20 years from now' but if Kurt was still with us and saw the state of music today he would be very sombre indeed.
As evidence that our oldies music rule and your kids music suck, I offer two of the best albums ever to be shoplifted from HMV and both were released 27 years ago this month within a week of each other, the pinnacle of music coming down to a week in mid-September 1991.
First up was Nirvana's 'Nevermind' on the 17th followed by 'Use your Illusions 1 & 2' by Guns N Roses on the 24th.
You would have to wait a long time to find another album that came close to Nevermind and songs like 'Smells Like Teen-Spirit', 'Lithium', 'In Bloom' and 'Come As You Are' or, as it turned out, you only had to wait a week because 'Use your Illusions 1 & 2' was released at midnight the following weekend and i was stood outside a record shop for a second time in 7 days waiting for the doors to open at midnight and to swap a ten pound note and a few pound coins for a slab of vinyl.
Who have the kids today got who can compare to Kurt Cobain, Axel Rose and Slash? Ariana Grande? Ed Sheeran? The last winner of X Factor?
Of course you can't really blame the kids, they can only buy what is served up to them and we are in a depressing cycle of reality show contestants stinking up the charts with bland, plastic pop but with music being so fragmented into so many genres, i can't really see another grunge or punk movement happening which is a shame because it gives people like me the opportunity to say 'your music sucks'
to the kids which is exactly what my parents said to me and i hate the way today's uninteresting music and musicians has turned me into my parents.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Metal Heads

We have all been there during a test and stuck on Question B and on one side of us we have a leather clad headbanger wearing a Metallica T-shirt and dirty jeans and on the other a neatly decked out person who listens to Radiohead so we take a peek at the answer for question B on the one not humming 'Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter' but that way leads to failure and a big D on the bottom of the paper.
Rather than being two IQ points away from being fed grass and milked as is the usual perception of metal-heads, a study published by the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (a body which represents the top 5% of academic achievement) reveals that a disproportionate number of their members list heavy metal as their favourite kind of music.
The study also notes that its metal loving members are also the ones that have the most difficulties with relationships so that stereo-type is still correct then.
So if you want a conversation about Marx, Rousseau or the UN Convention on the rights of a child then look for someone whipping their hair back ands forth as they deafen themselves with Slayer but i'd go elsewhere for fashion advice unless you are into black.
Now where's that Best of Anthrax CD....

Baldness Cures From History

When i was a kid we would sing 'Baldy Baldy Over There, what's it like to have no hair, is it hot or is it cold, what's it like to be bald?' but i wouldn't dream of singing it to anyone bald now, shout out slaphead of course, but i wouldn't sing to them.
Luckily the only thing us women have to worry about with our hair is to make sure the wind doesn't blow it into a Farah Fawcett style 70's flick but some men are not so lucky and would do anything to not feel the wind on their spreading bald patch.
There have been many 'hair growth breakthroughs' but none seem to work but history has a long list of tried and tested methods to restore hair.
The Egyptians treated baldness by applying a balm consisting of the mixed fats of lion, hippo, crocodile, cat, serpent, and ibex and Cleopatra devised a remedy of ground mice and horse teeth for her lover Julius Caesar but it obviously didn't work as he continued to wear a laurel wreath to hide it.
Hippocrates hit upon the cure consisting of pigeon droppings, opium, beetroot, horseradish, and spices to but when it failed to work he recommended castration noticing that that eunuchs never lost their hair.
In traditional Indian medicine, cow urine was rubbed into the bald patch while the British went for rubbing tea and lemon into their thinning locks, what is it with the British and their tea??
The fountain of all knowledge that is the internet has solutions including bull semen which is rich in protein which helps to stimulate hair growth but if you don't fancy a head full of sperm then there is always a paste made from chilli peppers which is popular in Korea and Kim Jong Un has a lovely head of hair.
Onion juice is apparently another cure as it cleanses the scalp of growth inhibitors but the most popular is yeast infection cream with the active ingredient miconazole nitrate, an antifungal agent.
If you are a baldy then you have nothing to lose by trying them all (maybe not the eunuch one) and if you want to sneak into your wifes medicine cabinet so you can slather her thrush cream on your head, that’s up to you.

Call In The Space Force

Our single star has eight planets circling it and there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy and there are 200 billion galaxies strung out across the Universe and if we say each star has at least four planets orbiting it, well, i don't have enough fingers to work out how many potential planets that is in all but it's a lot and it would be madness to think life wasn't on at least one of them.
Whether they are coming here to take a look at us funny looking carbon based bipeds is another story but the FBI is acting strange or rather stranger than usual anyway.
FBI agents have swooped on a space institution, the Sunspot Solar Observatory, evacuated it and banned from Sun observations for a week and closed off the entire area.
Local police said they had received reports that FBI agents arrived in a Blackhawk helicopter and swooped around the observatory. They would not even tell the local law enforcement why they were there, police said.
The mystery and the observatory's usual work has led to theories across the internet suggesting the shutdown came after scientists spotted something they shouldn't have.
This sound like a job for Donald Trump's Space Force!

Guilty As Charged

The explanation of a sight-seeing trip to Salisbury offered by the two suspects in the Sergei Skripal poisoning for their presence in the area is so implausible that it makes you question just why the Russians chose this flimsy alibi when they could have come up with something far more believable.
The Russian's have made strenuous efforts to challenge the claims made by the UK that thee two were behind the poisoning but after CCTV footage was released, going there for an hour and then leaving because of the snow and maybe happening to pass the Skripal House by accident is beyond weak.
In an interview, the men confirmed they were the people in the CCTV images but they were just there to see: 'it’s famous 123-metre spire, it’s famous for its clock, the first one of its kind ever created in the world, which is still working' and while they were in Salisbury 'maybe approached Skripal’s house, but we didn’t know where it was located'.
British counter-terrorism policing sources have said that they stand by everything they had said in naming two individuals from Russia as being responsible for the attack and listening to the paper thin alibi they have given, they are probably right to.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Blame The Parents

We like to think that since we were 18 we have matured, become more rounder individuals and wouldn't be seen dead with the haircut we had back then but science has said that something that wouldn't have changed is taste in music because by the time we blow out the candles on our 18th birthday cake, our musical tastes are locked in.
Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin explains that until we hit our 18th year, our brains are still developing and creating neural pathways especially between aged 10 and 18 when the brain is creating the most deepest pathways influenced by what we see and hear and if it's hearing mostly rap and hip hop in those formative years then you are destined for a future of track suits, big chains and saying
stupid things like 'that's dope' to people who will slowly edge away from you.
For me this all rings true, my musical tastes are not so far different to what they where when i was wearing a denim jacket and used food dye to colour my hair.
So if you are reading this while listening to Country and Western and wondering why the hell you like it i would blame your parents for playing Dolly Parton's Greatest Hits on a loop back when you were a teenager and conditioning your brain to enjoy naff songs about pick-up trucks and moonshine sung by men called Billy Bob or Buck.

How's That Climate Change Denial Working Out Then?

Kinda ironic that the country that has dealt the most damage to the environment and is currently run by a leader who dismisses climate change as a conspiracy theory is about to feel the full force of it when Hurricane Florence and it's 140 mph winds arrive on it's shore.
About 1.7 million people across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been told to leave their homes ahead of the storm's arrival which is expected to dump 40 inches of rain and cause widespread flooding.
The category four storm is currently 520 miles off the coast and strengthening in the warmer than usual waters of the Atlantic and is expected to make landfall on Thursday.
Trump, his supporters and all those wacky climate change deniers are about to get a close up view of exactly what Climate Change looks like.

Next Conservative Leader Runners And Riders

How a secret meeting can be called secret when we all knew about it is beyond me but around 50 MP's met up 'in secret' to discuss just how and when to boot the Prime Minister out of office as the Conservatives tear themselves apart over Brexit.
To force through a vote of no confidence and spark a leadership battle a minimum of 48 letters need to be submitted to the 1922 Committee to trigger a vote and i would assume the required number of letters have been written and now it is just a matter of when they hand them in.
Theresa May has vowed to fight any Tory leadership election but looking at who is set to line up against her, she shouldn't be too worried.
Boris Johnson is the favourite and is equally loved and loathed within his party and his recent split from his wife after yet another extra marital affair has not done him any favours.
Sajid Javid is second favourite but was a firm remainer and to the Brexiters, electing him would be swapping like for like so unlikely to appeal to those pushing the knife into the second female Prime Minister.
Then there is Jacob Rees-Mogg, the man nicknamed as the Minister for the 18th Century as him and his views are so old fashioned which has made him a bit of a cartoon character in many eyes.
The environment secretary, Michael Gove, is fourth favourite and has made no secret of being after the top job and ran against her previously after David Cameron stepped down and famously stabbed Boris Johnson in the back while doing so which didn't enamour him to his party members.
Fifth favourite is Jeremy Hunt but is a recent addition to the hard-Brexit side, previously being a die hard Remainer and was one of the least loved Health Secretaries in history overseeing the running down of the NHS so may be popular with Conservative members but is too disliked in the country to win an election. 
The bookies offer long odds on another female Prime Minister in the shape of Penny Mordaunt and Andrea Leadsom but realistically the next Prime Minister will come from the top five men which looking at the list, is not a great proposition but should make winning the next election easier for the Labour Party.

Monday, 10 September 2018


I never really appreciated rap and hip hop back in it's heyday, partly because a big chunky gold chain and a shell suit is not the coolest of combinations, but one of the best lines in music comes from the Run DMC song 'It's Like That' where the boys make the suggestion that 'Next time someones teaching why don't you get taught'.
A great line but apart from a handful of Run DMC songs and few by Grandmaster Flash, rap seemed to have not really been on my radar but the fly psychiatrists at Cambridge University have obviously been paying attention to it because they have come up with a def idea that ‘hip-hop’ therapy could help the depressed and mentally ill.
'Much of hip-hop comes from areas of great socioeconomic deprivation, so it’s inevitable that its lyrics will reflect the issues faced by people brought up in these areas, including poverty, marginalisation, crime and drugs' explained Homeboy Dr Akeem Sule, of the University of Cambridge.
'Hip-hop artists use their skills and talents not only to describe the world they see, but also as a means of breaking free. There’s often a message of hope in amongst the lyrics' and the team have chosen the top three hip-hop songs which they believe can help mental illness.
Not meaning to diss him but i don't know the song 'Juicy' by The Notorious BIG or the Wack sounding J flex ft Lady of R's 1997 buggin 'Lady Heroin' but i am very familiar with 'The
Message' by Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five, mostly because it was used to help kids learn how to cross the road in the 80's (you don't push anyone when they're are close to the  edge as i recall).
Music can certainly be very emotive and can stir some deep emotions so the Cambridge boffins are probably on to something and it may be rap music for some and Country and Western for others, another genre of music that i pretty much ignored, but i find listening to Christmas songs at any time of the year a massive lifter.
Hearing 'Merry Christmas Everyone' coming from the CD player in July while waving my hands in the air like i just don't care also serves as a great warning sign to others that it probably isn't the best time to ask for a favour. Word.

Religious Education Lesson 1

Schools are reporting that they do not have enough teachers of Religious Education so the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) are starting a campaign aiming to attract RE teachers to boost religious literacy.
I feel that i am able to step up and help them over the course of a 39 week school year so the first lesson in Week 1 is:  'listen kids, there is no God, the whole heaven and hell and religion thing is a massive myth so you can now spend the next 38 weeks learning something which is actually useful to you'.
I expect my cheque to be in the post in due course Religious Education Council and you are very welcome.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

No More Political Songs

Politics can be difficult to follow sometimes but most people break down into right-wing or left-wing and musicians generally fall into the latter category because music isn’t very right wing.
There are not many songs that highlight right wing ideals with lyrics about smaller Government, free markets and more wars against Muslim countries filled with oil or heaping praise upon right wing luminaries such as Margaret Thatcher, Donald Trump or Hitler but once you couldn't swing a cat without hitting songs espousing left-wing ideals that oppose various current political regimes, reject war or call for equality to assorted oppressed groups but the well of political songs seemed to have dried up over the last decade or so.
With so much awfulness going on around the globe you have to wonder why more artists are not turning to politics for inspiration so why are our pop stars of today afraid to say what so many of us think when when we watch the news?
Political music can act as an incredibly powerful tool for raising awareness and bringing people together if it's done well but it's not easy to write a catchy tune encompassing complex issues that also have to rhyme and scan properly.
In an interview during their politically charged 'American Idiot' days, Billy Joe Armstrong said that the reason their album was so successful here was because they were pushing a point of view against the Iraq War that was marginalised within the mainstream media in the USA in favour of flag waving pro-war fervour while here in the UK that simply wasn't the case, the UK audience just got and agreed with their anti-War message.
That there is the crux of the matter, if Green Day and other bands (remember the Dixie Chicks fracas) who take a political side that go against what the people who have the power to advertise, expose, play and put their music out there then they will wither on the vine so they just avoid that whole area altogether to avoid career suicide.
Punk and the early rap/hip hop music was political but now it's seen as bland aural wallpaper and nobody has the political, or more importantly commercial courage, to take a stand and say 'this is wrong' in a three minute format for fear of being commercially sidelined for it.

Jail Time For Musicians

The general attitude in many of the more religious nations is that music is forbidden so stores do not have music playing and music is not taught in schools and musicians have even been jailed for writing songs and worse for songs that are deemed anti-state.  
Amnesty Internationals position on this is that: 'This is a ludicrous way to treat people just for writing songs' but hold on Amnesty, let's not be too hasty here because but i know a few song writers that would benefit all of us if we started banging up anyone who is an affront to music.
First in the dock getting life with no parole would be Paul McCartney for pretty much everything since 1970 and following him in would be The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and Phil Collins for clogging up my radio with tosh for as long as i can remember.
Billy Ray Cyrus deserves a spell in solitary for 'Achy Breaky Heart' in the cell next to his daughter and down the corridor Celine 'My Heart Will Go On' Dion and if someone had arrested the Village people after 'YMCA' we would have been spared 'In the Navy'.
All Reggae groups should be locked away for a long time for having careers which consisted of every song having the same tune and Meatloaf should face a jury for making every song 10 minutes long.
A suspended sentence should be handed down to all country music singers and anyone who uses an Hawaiian guitar in their songs, female singers who do that wobbly voice thing where they go up and down the scales mid-song, actors who think they can sing, comedy singers and boy bands who sing vaguely remembered 70's ballads with their shirts off and any band who sells the rights of their songs to advertisers and ruin that special song by forever being associated with toilet roll.

Friday, 7 September 2018

The Long And Short Of Song Length

The current organ performance of As Slow as Possible at St Burchardi church in Halberstadt, Germany, began in 2001 and is scheduled to end in 2640. There have been periods of silence, there was an 18-month pause until February 5 2003 which came as a welcome relief to some but where in the rules does it say that music has to have a set length?
The vast majority of pop songs are still between two and five minutes long and much more than that and there is little chance of it being played on the radio or music channels and for us children of the 80s the only way you would get a song over 5 minutes back then was to buy the 12" Extended Remix although they were mostly just an instrumental version with the original song tacked on the end.
I much prefer short, punchy songs but as a life long Guns N Roses fan i get a bit of both from 3 minute rock outs (Perfect Crime, Right Next Door To Hell, Garden of Eden) to 7 minute plus epics (Coma, November Rain, Civil War).
I sometimes wonder why musicians spin out long songs when really they'd said and done everything in 3 minutes, the 17 minutes of Inna Gadda Da Vidi just seems excessive and the 12 minutes plus of Meat Loaf's 'I Would Do Anything For Love' is about 11 minutes too long but then Meat Loaf never has sung anything in 3 minutes when he can sing it in 9. 
There are some brilliant longer songs but they are mainly the ones that start off as one song and then turn into something else halfway through such as 'One' by Metallica, 'The Spirit of Radio' by Rush and Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Free Bird' which is the ultimate 'pfft, this-is-boring' first 4 minutes to 'wow, this-is-brilliant' last 5 minutes.
For fans of the long songs in music, the average length of the pop song has been creeping ever-upwards over the years, from 2 minutes 36 seconds in the 1950s, up to a patience-testing 4 minute 26 seconds today and i put the blame firmly on Meat Loaf and German organ performances for that.

A Lack Of All Girl Bands

As i go about the task of picking the 500 top songs to go on my whizzy new Mp3 player, i noticed two things with the first being i do seem to favour songs pre-2000 and that i have a serious lack of all female bands on my slowly dwindling list.   
The Bangles and The Donnas are the sole representatives left standing so either it's me or there are a lack of good all female bands.
I saw a Behind the Music VH1 show once about The Bangles which suggested the rest of them got fed up with Susannah Hoffs getting drooled over and considering some of the other all female bands, jealousy does seem to be contributing factor of why they seem to implode.
Pondering on it some more, i reached the further conclusion that the all girl bands who reach the top, think Sugarbabes, Spice Girls, Girls Aloud, Mis-Teeq, Destiny's Child, All Saints etc don't play any instruments which means that unlike in a band which has the standard hierarchy of singer, guitarists and drummer, they all share the same spotlight whereas in a band the singer invariably gets all the attention.
Working this through, in most cases one member gains more attention than the others so Spice Girls it was Geri, Girls Aloud it was Cheryl Cole, All Saints Shaznay Lewis, in Mis-Teeq Alesha Dixon took the attention, Beyonce in Destiny's Child and so on so although they are all doing the same thing, one gaining more attention (and even being more prominently featured in magazines) is probably always going to cause friction.
As this is all based on one VH1 episode about The Bangles i could be completely wrong but Susannah Hoffs getting all the limelight seemed to be the cause of their split but as they played instruments and were a proper 'band', they stayed together by tolerating it a long longer then all the just singers bands whose members assume they have a chance of making it as a solo artist whereas the drummer and bass player of most bands, not quite so much.

Holding Two Contrary Thoughts On Elon Musk

I am in a bind with Space X head Elon Musk, on the one hand i want him and his Space Exploration operation to succeed but on the other the guy is an absolute dick and i don't want any success to come to him.  
I was always in the Musk camp right up until he threw a tantrum over the Thai children rescue where he tried to muscle in with a submarine he designed and was told it wasn't needed on which he threw appalling insults at the rescuer, calling him a paedophile.
Then he whinged continually about the press writing negative comments about him and today he gave an interview while smoking a cannabis joint. 
Tesla stock fell by 9% following this latest interview and that's where my bind comes in because where i would love it if the obnoxious idiot and his companies fell from a great height, he is pushing Space exploration onwards and upwards much faster than if it was left to NASA or the ESA.
In a perfect world someone else will come up behind him and overtake him, someone who isn't such a douche bag, but until then it's a case of holding the two contrary positions of hating the person but hoping his company succeeds which gives me a headache.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Musicians Before They Were Famous

Not shy to blow his own trumpet, Kanye West once said that he is the No 1 living and breathing rock star but whether he was the No1 T-shirt folder when he worked at GAP is strangely not something he boasts about. 
Musicians may be effortlessly cool now but they all had to start somewhere and while Kanye may have been working on his raps while selling brand new brightly coloured trousers, Freddie Mercury was selling second hand ones on a market stall before him and his band made it big.
Before Beyonce sang about putting a ring on it she was putting a rinse on it as a hairdresser and Kurt Cobain was smelling less like teen spirit and more like floor polish at his janitors job before Nirvana came knocking.
Less fragrant was Chris Cornell and Jarvis Cocker who both had jobs cleaning up the fish guts at the local fish markets and Cyndi Lauper's sense of smell would have been equally as assaulted as her first job as a dog kennel cleaner.
If you were after fast food in the 80s and 90s you could have been served by Madonna in Dunkin' Donuts, Pink at McDonald's or even Eminem who was a cook in a greasy spoon cafe. 
Eddie Vedder was a Security Guard and Kelis and her bitter shandies bought all the guys to the bar in her job as a barmaid while David Bowie was a butcher and Elvis got his blue suede shoes all over the brake pedal in the delivery truck he drove.
Teaching turned out to be a first career choice for Gene Simmons, Sting and Art Garfunkel before choosing music over text books and Jack White decided that as a furniture upholsterer he made a decent musician and Elvis Costello wasn't pumping it up at the bank so bought some Buddy Holly style spectacles and tried song writing instead.
Mick Jagger worked as a porter at a mental Hospital, Rod Stewart wasn't asking anybody if he was sexy when he was a gravedigger and Jon Bon Jovi worked in a factory assembling Christmas Decorations but you wouldn't expect Ozzy Osbourne to have just have any boring old job, the Prince of Darkness worked in a Factory tuning car horns and it doesn't get much more rock n Roll than that!

The Collectors Edition Scam

In my mind all the record executives got together in a meeting and said 'CD sales are stalling, how can we get the public to spend their money on Music CD's' and in my minds eye one git with a ponytail and a goatee stands up and says 'why can't we just resale them what they already have but stick an extra track on it' which is exactly what they have done.
The deluxe CD is a thing where the record companies take an existing album, stick a few extra songs on it or even lazily a live version of a song and stick it back in the shops for £15.99.
One of the worst artists for this is Meatloaf and his Bat out of Hell album which shows up every 3 or 4 years with a shiny 3D cover and a 'collectors edition' sticky label on it which no self-respecting Meatloaf fan would want to be seen without and can place alongside their other seven editions of the Bat Out Of Hell album they already own.
It does make me wonder just how low wattage some people are operating on that they will keep paying out for the same thing over and over again, there are only so many versions of 'Paradise by the dashboard light' you can own before something inside your brain clicks off.
Those of us whose brains have not be made squishy by repeated hearings of 'Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad' realise that a CD that you already own but with twinkly add-ons like live tracks and prettier packaging is just the same CD only with twinkly add-ons and prettier packaging and not worth shelling out another £15 for the same CD with an additional live track.
I just hope that when Meatloaf cashes those royalty cheque he thinks of all people clutching his CD (with the shiny 3D cover) and once they realise they have been duped again he collapses down at the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun, torn and twisted at the foot of a burning' hell, think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell, and the last thing they see is their heart, still beating, breaking out
of their bodies and flying away.
Probably he just buys another sports car and a yacht but we can hope.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

They Named The Band After What?

In the post The Band's Called What? i said it was probably not wise to delve too deeply into how 10cc and Lovin' Spoonful came by their names and left it there because i thought it was well known exactly what i was alluding to but obviously not so for all those wondering it is the approximate volume of man's stuff, 10 cubic centimetres or roughly a teaspoonful of liquid. Eeew indeed, hope they washed the spoon after they measured it but i guess looking back at some of the older artists, how they came by their names (literally in some cases) is lost to the fogs of time so lets see who we can shed some light on.
Steely Dan's name is taken from a steam powered vibrator, UB40 from the top of an unemployment benefit card, Joy Division is a row of prostitutes huts, Lynyrd Skynyrd is named after their PE Teacher, Pogues is Irish Gaelic for Kiss My Arse and The Velvet Underground is taken from a book of perverted sexual practises.    
Circle Jerks and Limp Bizkit are names of a game that involves biscuits and what the lovin' spoonful measured as is Pearl Jam (think about it).
Whitesnake and Captain Beefheart are penis related and Scissor Sisters is taken from a lesbian sex act.
Yep, musicians are massive perverts but i would suggest that if any of the Lovin' spoonful invite you around for coffee then take your own cutlery.

Not Everyone Thinks Trumps An Idiot

If Michael Wolff is to be believed, '100 percent of the people around Donald Trump don’t think he’s fit for office. They all say he is a moron, an idiot' but in the orange one's defence, they don't all think he's an idiot and a moron, some consider him deplorable and crazy also.
Toting up the insults against Trump, most think he is an idiot including H.R. McMaster, the National Security Adviser and the National Economic Council director Gary Cohn and Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Reince Preibus.
The Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, famously said Trump was a 'F****** moron' and that would be bad enough but the rest of the staff used other names for the President including Tom Barrack Jr who said he was 'stupid' but Gary Cohn went as far as to call him 'dumb as shit'.
The White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah called him 'deplorable' and John McCain said he was 'sad' and 'half-baked' and FBI Director James Comey went for 'Morally unfit to be president', 'unethical and untethered to truth'.
White House chief of staff John Kelly said the President was 'unhinged' and White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman went for 'a racist, misogynist and bigot', a view backed by Barbara Res, executive vice-president of Trump Organisation, who said he was a 'supreme sexist'.
Steve Bannon said he was like 'an 11-year-old child', White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh said working with Trump was like 'trying to figure out what a child wants' and Republican senator Bob Corker of Tennessee called the White House under Trump 'an adult day care center'
H R McMaster once again stuck the boot into his boss by saying he had the intelligence of a 'kindergartner' and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Trump had the understanding of 'a fifth- or sixth-grader'.
So take your pick if Donald Trump is an idiot, moron or any of the other insults thrown at him but as these are the people who worked and know him best, who are we to argue with them in their assessment.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Was McCain Really A Hero?

I don't know much about John McCain apart from he introduced us to the comedy show that was Sarah Palin, he was shot down during the Vietnam War and he was beaten to the White House by Barack Obama.
There does seem to be a move afoot to make him into some great American war hero but surely there are better Americans who can be lionized.
He may have been shot down and tortured but he was fighting in the Vietnam war at the time, an ideological war that was hugely unpopular and he was shot down whilst dropping tonnes of bombs on civilians at the time.
Then there was his support for the Iraq War, another unjust and unpopular war, Obama called him the 'leading supporter of an invasion and occupation of Iraq' although my overriding memory of the man is a visit to Iraq in 2007 where he wanted to show the recent wave of terror attacks had subsided and Iraq was returning to normal thanks to the Iraq War he so vocally supported.
After the secret trip, photos emerged of him confidently strolling down the middle of a Baghdad Market and then at the press conference afterwards he claimed 'Things are getting better, there are encouraging signs' which was excellent news as long as the Iraqi's took the few minor precautions McCain undertook before his little jaunt.
All they needed to do to be as safe as McCain in their own nation whilst out shopping was to first send in soldiers to search for explosives, set up a perimeter and secure the neighbourhood, deploy snipers on rooftops, wear a flak jacket at all times, travel by a Humvee to the market and surround yourself with 100 armed soldiers while three Black Hawk helicopters and two Apache gunships patrol the skies above.
It really was that simple if the locals wanted to get back from the market-place in one piece. 
I don't know what else he did, maybe he really was the hero he is being made out to be but the unwritten rule is that you don't speak ill of the dead but the other one is you don't make out somebody to be a hero when they were anything but just because they died.

America Backing The Israeli Oppressors

America can do what it likes with it's money and if it wants to stop donating $368m to the Palestinians then it is well within it's right to do so but what we should notice is that while it stops giving to Palestine, its donations to Israel continue.
The United States hands over $3.8 billion per year in aid to Israel which it uses to purchase the military hardware by which to continue repressing and occupying the Palestinians land as it has done for the past 70 years.
The recent act of killing came when 170 Palestinians were killed by Israeli snipers for protesting against the barrier wall Israel has built around Gaza, a death toll that included medical personnel helping the injured, farmers working in their fields and innocent bystanders including children.
As Donald Trump took the decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and now to cut aid to the poorest people on the planet, it shows who the American President is backing in this recent move, and it's the brutal oppressors rather than the oppressed.  
By backing the side who are illegally seizing and building settlements on Palestinian land, defying UN resolutions, killing Hamas politicians, holding over 9000 Palestinians in its prisons, destroying farms, abusing human rights, bulldozing homes and businesses and maintaining a monstrous wall deemed illegal by the international court of justice, peace seems even further away and just ensures that the cycle of violence will continue.
Rather than handing over $3.8 billion of American taxpayers money to Israel, America should stop bankrolling Israel as it couldn't maintain such a large military presence without US help, so it would have to make peace with its neighbour or go bankrupt.
The vast majority of the problems are due to Israel, a people who were once the brutally oppressed themselves, and America is giving willing financial and political assistance to it's brutal, violent and abhorrent treatment of the Palestinians.

What Hendrix Was Doing All Along The Watchtower

In the film 'Full Metal Jacket', there is a character called 'Hand Job' who is killed while waiting for his papers for a medical discharge due to 'jerking off ten times a day' and when he was sent to see the Navy head shrinker, 'he starts jerking off in the waiting room. Instant Section Eight. He was just waiting for his papers to clear division'.
What i didn't know was that the character was based on a real life person, Jimi Hendrix.
According to his own discharge papers, Hendrix displayed behaviour problems, required excessive supervision, has little regard for regulations and was apprehended masturbating in the platoon area while on duty.
To fans of feedback noise and 10 minute guitar solo's, Hendrix is arguably the greatest guitarist ever but he wouldn't be winning any awards for soldiering but then to be fair, he only enlisted in the Army to avoid going to prison for stealing cars.
To avoid any embarrassment, Hendrix's record company said that that his medical discharge was for a broken ankle following a parachute jump but now we know the real reason, i consider his recording of 'All Along The Watchtower' to be more of an explanation of what he was doing when he was apprehended in the platoon area that day.

Friday, 31 August 2018

The Answer To Dwindling Tunes Available

As there are only seven basic notes, A,B,C,D,E,F and G and there are only a set number of ways to go from one to another, at some point there will come a day when all the music it's possible to write has been written.
With my limited grasp of maths i can't begin to work out how many tunes are possible but as we have had music for so many centuries, we must be reaching a point where the same tunes are being rehashed.
Reggae bands foresaw this problem a long time ago and just made all their songs the same tune and there are many bands that use the same 'sound' which is a polite way of saying doing the same song over and over but either speeding it up or slowing it down a bit.
I don't have a problem with bands reusing the same song if it is a decent 'sound' to start with, the Ramones deviated very little from the few tunes they had, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Green Day don't do much different either and Status Quo made a career out of only having one tune but the basic tune they use over and over is a good one so writing one amazing tune and running with it is fine
especially if the amount of tunes left is running short.
Music could therefore take a tip from the World of movies who have hit upon a formula of once they have a successful film, they go on to make a second or third or in the case of the Halloween films, twelve.
If a band have a smash hit on their hands, why not rewrite the lyrics and put it out again a few years later?
Other bands have no problem remaking other peoples classic songs so why not The Eagles do a 'Hotel California II' or REM write 'Losing My Religion part 2' with the same tune but new lyrics?  
Just not you Billy Ray Cyrus, you stay retired, the World does not need another version of 'Achy Breaky Heart' thank you very much.

90 Days Of Summer: Last Day

I always seem to have a song follow me around during Summer and this year it was 'Wipeout' but not the cool 60s version but the one by the Fat Boys which was okay at first but it wouldn't be my first choice to be floating out from the TV, radio and even in Tesco.
Anyway, not sure what the Cosmos is trying to tell me by making me hear it so often unless it wants me to party and get a little rest by packing my things and heading out west which i did anyway by going to Exmoor in Devon, so been there, done that so you can shut up now Cosmos.
Summer in the UK, on the whole, has been hot which is great if you like it hot but i don't so i am more than happy that the days are getting shorter and it's the 90 Days of Autumn starting tomorrow (technically 91 days but let's not be pedantic).
My Summer highlight would be the World Cup where England somehow managed to make it through to the Quarter Final before playing anyone decent (and then getting immediately knocked out) but disappointingly, there was only one decent thunderstorm and that was back in June and i slept through most of it.
So as the blazing Summer of 2018 slips away it's a slow and steady march towards cardigans, big coats and gloves and trees shedding their leaves but most importantly we get into the -ber months and everyone knows that once you get a -ber at the end of the month it is a short stop off at Halloween, then Guy Fawkes Night and then we are into the throes of most wonderful time of the year...CHRISTMAS!!

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Size Isn't Important

I have a folder on my computer desktop simply called 'Music' and inside it there are 25GB of songs which i have bought, begged, borrowed and stolen over the years, a total of 5,500 tunes which until yesterday were all copied onto on my 32GB MP3 player but after a backside related incident involving my husband, now sits beside me crushed and with an arse shaped crack in it.
My first thought was to slap hubby with the bill for a replacement 32GB player but after the 10th 'sorry' cup of coffee, i began thinking do i really need 5,500 songs at my fingertips.
Truth is i spend just as much time track-skipping as i do listening to the songs and if i was able to still look at the play counter feature on the deceased player  there are plenty of songs which would have a big fat zero next to them.
The problem is i like the idea of my whole record collection being at my disposal ready to plug into my car radio and choosing between a bit of 90's Grunge or 70's DISCO depending on my mood but it does seem to get to the wheat, i have a lot of chaff to skip through.
I estimate that of the 5,500 songs, approximately 5,000 very rarely make it out of my car speakers apart from the first 2 seconds before it gets quickly shifted on.  
The solution then would be to just put the 500 most played songs on the MP3 player but i know that wouldn't happen, i would be tempted to put the whole lot on there again because you never know when you might need a bit of Electro Velvet singing their 2015 Eurovision Song on the way home from work.
I have decided then to get a smaller MP3, one that holds just the 500 songs max, those that won't be skipped and risk me plowing into the back of a Tesco lorry as i try desperately to skip on from Adam and the Ants.
The next job then is to find a whizzy 2GB MP3 player with every bell and whistle possible, point hubby and his debit card in the general direction of the shop and work out which 500 songs make the cut.
So men it really isn't true that size is important, or rather it is very important with penises but not with MP3 players.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Calling Rock's Bad Boy's and Girl's

I always had the impression that if you invited someone like Lemmy or Amy Winehouse around your house for a coffee they would make off with the silverware, the TV and the cat as soon as your back was turned whereas if it was Ed Sheeran he would be perfectly pleasant and would discuss the cushion covers and wash his mug up when he has finished.  
Today's musicians wouldn't emulate the bands back in the day by trashing a hotel room, you can't help but feel they would be more likely run the hoover around it but i'm of an age when i remember when rock stars were making headlines for throwing TV's out of windows and drinking enough alcohol that their pancreases exploded. 
Musicians and their music today just seem so boringly pleasant and safe and nice in comparison, nobody is making angry music full of spiky social commentary and it isn't as if today's youth have nothing to kick back against.
Pop stars, or the better ones, are supposed to be rebellious, its a big reason why we like them and what they are here to do, live out the outrageous fantasies that we believe we would do if we were in their position like Keith Moon parking his car in the hotel swimming pool or Slash waking up one morning after a night of heavy drinking to find a lion in his room. 
Rock stars SHOULD act bad and still be able to hold it together to put out some great music before collapsing into a pool of their own vomit.
What Guns N' Roses and bands of that ilk gave us was wild, hard drinking and unpredictable musicians who would soak their cornflakes in Jack Daniels, knock seven bells out of each other while smoking 120 Benson & Hedges and still manage to knock out a guitar riff so sharp it threatened eyeballs when it came on the radio.
I want my rock stars drunk, unkempt and being photographed coming out of nightclubs at 4am, puking over the paparazzi and appearing in the morning newspapers waving two fingers and slurring rude things about Prince William.
What we have got is a chart full of thoroughly decent people when what we need is bad boys and girls ruffling feathers and inspiring a generation of musicians who rebel and smell strongly of alcohol and their own vomit.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Why Chavez Is Not To Blame For Venezuelan Crisis

Much about Venezuela in the news recently and although President Maduro is rightly getting the blame, the previous President Hugo Chavez is also starting to get some of the fallout although the right wing have always been chomping at the bit to hit out at him mainly because he and his socialist policies were such an overwhelming success.
That may sound strange considering the mess Venezuela finds itself in today but a quick glance at what and why Chavez did what he did should show that only the willfully ignorant or ignorantly blind would make such a claim.
In 1998, the majority of Venezuelans lived below the poverty line and after Chavez won the Presidential election he made it a priority to lance this particularly unpleasant boil.
With a barrel of oil trading at $100, he nationalised the country's oil reserves and used the extra revenue to finance social and development programmes, begin literacy campaigns, build free medical centres and hospitals, constructed schools in the poorest neighbourhoods and subsidised supermarkets to reduce the cost of food.
He trained tens of thousands of more doctors, initiated millions of free school meals and started free adult literacy classes.
As promised when he took office, he halved poverty and set about solving the problems of the most vulnerable in Society, namely the poor and sick with malnutrition related deaths falling by 50% during the Chavez Presidency.
When he died in 2013, he had brought hope to millions of those who, without him, would have had nothing but more of the grinding poverty and despair of the previous Governments.
That's Chavez but what he had was oil being sold at $100 a barrel, what Maduro has inherited is oil being sold at $40 a barrel and that's where the problem lays today.
While Chavez used the oil boom dollars to run the country and import the essentials, in 2014 the oil prices crashed and Venezuela’s economy crashed with it creating huge shortages of basic items which they imported, including food and medicine, which has pushed up inflation to eye watering levels.
Where Maduro can be blamed is for his reaction to the demonstrations, cracking down with authoritarian tactics and imprisoning his political rivals while postponing elections.
Chavez took over a basket case of a country and for 14 years used the oil money which was otherwise going into oil contractors bank accounts to fundamentally improve things for his countrymen, Maduro had the misfortune to take over just as the economy tanked due to the drop in the price of oil.
That how he responded made things worse is what you can firmly hit him over the head with but to blame Hugo Chavez for making things better is a non-starter and awful right-wing journalism at its laziest.

Blaming The Witches

I have been under the impression all this time that Donald Trumps problems was all down to him being a slimy, pathetic man  who undertook extra marital affairs and specialised in dodgy deals and collusion with Russians to win the election but  turns out it's all down to Witches.
An Alabama pastor has urged his congregation to pray for the President to ward off witchcraft which is allegedly threatening his presidency.
Pastor John A. Kilpatrick has told his followers that witches are trying to remove Trump with black magic and Trump needs their prayers to fend off the onslaught.
It’s possible the pastor took the Trumps repeated criticism of the Robert Mueller probe as a 'witchhunt' to literally but i can't see how shouting a few hallelujahs his way could possibly hurt. Can't see it helping either but what the hell, fill yer boots religionists. 
If only the Pastor had spoken up before he sexually assaulted women and got jiggy with a porn star and a Playboy model then maybe he wouldn't be in such a mess now and he may have even prevented the witches forcing him into teaming up with Vladimir Putin and the Russians to win the election.  
I guess if they start praying they could deflect the spell that make Trump into a racist and even erase that infamous pee tape before it puts in an appearance.
Praying's got to be worth a go because nothing else seems to be working to make him less of a moronic simpleton.

Back To Work Ear Worms

It will soon be time to cover over the miniature golf course, put the cut-offs back in the wardrobe and get yourself a proper pair of shoes because as the Beach Boys lamented, won't be long til summer time is through.
As we watch another Summer slip into Autumn and the sun-tan fades along with our memories of lazy days with cocktails on the beach, our thoughts turn to colder, wetter days and going back to work and just as Summer has it's own songs, so does the return to the working week.
If the DJ has a wicked sense of humour, you could wake up to the Bangles singing 'It's just another manic Monday, i wish it was Sunday' or Fats Domino's 'Blue Monday' and his 'Gotta work like a slave all day' line.
On that rejoining the familiar faces on that first commute since you waved your colleagues goodbye for the summer, many will have The Smith's 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' ringing in their head or even the Dolly Parton '9 to 5'.  
Walking through the door of your workplace, the Animals 'We Gotta Get Out of This Place' should ring true and as you look out the window the line from Grey Day by Madness 'The sky outside is wet and grey, So begins another weary day' couldn't be more true.
The calendar will show it's the long slog through to the next decent break at Christmas now but keep in mind a tip from the Martha and The Muffins song Echo Beach where her job as an office clerk is very boring 'The only thing that helps pass the time away is knowing I'll be back at Echo Beach some day' so daydream your day away and before you know it we would have coughed and sneezed our way back around to Summer and it's all 'Summer Nights' and 'Lazing On A Sunny Afternoon' once again.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Internet Exposing The Truth About Dead Musicians

There are many conspiracy theories around dead musicians so it can be confusing to remember who is dead and who isn't so while Elvis, Tupac, Michael Jackson, Prince and Kurt Cobain are still alive and living in hiding somewhere, poor old Avril Lavigne and Paul McCartney are toast and were replaced by look-a-likes but someone almost certainly alive, according to some on the internet, is the Doors front man Jim Morrison.
The official story is that Jim Morrison died of heart failure, widely attributed to a drug overdose, while sitting in the bathtub in a Paris hotel but some say they saw him saying goodbye to his girlfriend at an airport in Paris days later and he faked his own death to avoid the 20 plus paternity suits he had pending and the prison time he faced for indecent exposure during a concert.
Paul McCartney apparently died in 1966 and was replaced by a look-alike and sound-alike with the evidence being McCartney is the only barefooted Beatle and is out of step with the others on the cover of the Abbey Road Album.
The same theory has been recycled against Avril Lavinge who died in the early 2000s and was replaced by a body double who wasn't quite double enough for some fans who point to slight changes in her nose and birthmarks and the replacement is several inches shorter.
While some on the net will tell you that Prince faked his death to escape his celebrity, others will give you a choice regarding Michael Jackson who either faked his death and now lives in Mexico, died in 2007 and was replaced by a look-a-like or he was murdered by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to distract the public from protests in Iran.
Other conspiracy theories round musicians are that The Weeknd is in league with the Devil as some of his music videos have satanistic rituals in them, Beyonce is also pals with Old Nick who killed Joan Rivers as a birthday present for her after the comedienne made some nasty remarks about her and her family. Need proof? Rivers died on the superstar’s birthday and Rivers was born in 1933 and was 81 at the time of her death. Beyonce was born in 1981 and turned 33 on the day that Rivers died... hmmm.
In case you wondered, it isn't Britney Spears singing on Britney Spears records and Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles from 1 Direction are gay and in a relationship and Tomlinson's new baby is either a doll or just a story fabricated to throw people off the trail of the relationship between the two.
Pharrell Williams young looks is down to him being a vampire who drinks human blood and Madonna is Lady Gaga's mother while the song 'Let It Go' from the animated movie Frozen is a thinly veiled attempt by Disney and the LGBT community to indoctrinate young children into becoming gay or lesbian due to the lyrics which include the word 'queen', 'let it go' and 'couldn’t keep it in'.
Okay, now you can engage your brain again and carry on, nothing to see here, especially not musicians who we thought had died popping to the shops wearing a wig and a false mustache and nervously looking around for paparazzi.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Today's Australian Prime Minister Is...

There are many things that we could learn from the Australians, how to throw a bent stick for starters and how to whinge about anything and everything for hours on end to name but two but something the Aussies seem to have a better handle on then us Brits  is how to nudge your Prime Minster aside.
British leaders seem to hang about like an Aussie at a free bar but the Australian leaders seem to be given just enough time to get a name plaque made up and then they are out the door as Malcolm Turnbull has become the fourth PM in a decade to be ousted.   
For some reason Australia has three year terms which i think is a good thing, if the Prime Minister turns out to be a disaster (looking at you Theresa May), then you can turf them out quicker.
Scott Morrison, an avowed Christian who voted against marriage equality in last year’s referendum, has now become the 30th Prime Minister of Australia which isn't bad when you consider they was only on their 25th six years ago. 
Our politicians can take a few lessons on how Australians treat their leaders although looking at the list of Conservatives who would be poised to take over from her, maybe leaving May where she is until she loses the next General Election is quite a smart move because Boris Johnson making decisions is a scary prospect.

The Band's Called What?

I always thought that Rainbow always sounded like a bloody silly name for a hard rock band but you can't always tell what you are going to get with some band names.
The Band 'The Doors' doesn't immediately spring to mind psychedelic rock and the dalliances of Jim Morrison and Echo and the Bunnymen isn't the most inspiring name. 
Butthole Surfers is always good for a smile but by far the worst band name that i can think of is Prefab Sprout unless when the brainstorming session when they came up with the band's name was aiming for an image of pre-made vegetables. 
Smashing Pumpkins and Blind Melon are particularly silly band names but maybe that is the point, to make them so ludicrous that they become memorable although if the rumours are to be believed, it probably isn't wise to delve too deeply into how 10cc and Lovin' Spoonful came by their names.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Where Did The Guitar Solo Go?

It was 1991 and i found myself in Milton Keynes Bowl watching Guns N Roses and midway through 'November Rain', a bare-chested Slash clambered up on top of a piano and began a guitar solo which for the first 3 minutes was excellent. Minutes 4 to 7 found me thinking 'this is going on a bit' and through minutes 8 to 10 i was screeching 'Just get off the piano and get on with the bloody song'.
Now i do love a good guitar solo but their seems to be not just a lack of people taking off their shirts and climbing onto piano's but a lack of guitar solo's in general.  
Due to the derth of guitar bands there are not so many musicians who now stand at the front of the stage, one foot on the monitors and their eyes shut fingering their fret board, grabbing their whammy bar and twanging their G-string, so to speak.
Punk wasn't renown for guitar solos, exceptions being Holiday in Cambodia and Rock Around The Clock by the Sex Pistols and Grunge never had too many guitar twiddly bits which seemed to be the domain of the 80s metal bands although one of my favourite solo's turned up in the Carpenters song 'Goodbye To Love'.
Far too many to list but The Eagles 'Hotel California', Guns N Roses 'Sweet Child o' Mine' and The Knack's 'My Sharona' are three of the solo's that i would go out of my way to listen to and of course the Carpenters unless halfway through Karen stripped off and climbed up onto Richards piano and then i would go for a coffee.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Defending Pop Punk

Some of the older generation get a bit sniffy about the punk-pop thing but music evolves and as the alternative is X Factor style warblers i would always take punkish tunes over Olly Murs any day.
Although it had it's heyday back in the mid to late 90s with the likes of Green Day, Sum 41, Offspring and Blink 182 who took over from the dying embers of the Grunge movement, i was hopeful that today's generation will pick up a guitar and thrash out them 3 minute songs again inspired by games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band although i am still waiting for it to filter through.
If Punk or it's little brother pop-punk is going to save music from the evil forces of Simon Cowell's saccharine ballads then the genre will need to evolve so whatever comes next it won't be what it was yester-year but it will probably have the same attributes which define the genre.
Post Pop-Punk songs will need to continue being short, sharp and spiky but most of all not serious, the best pop-punk songs are angsty but with subject matters involving getting drunk, lost love, school, sex, work and just generally being an idiot youth doing idiot youthful things crammed into three minutes, three and a half tops.
Now i'm as concerned about climate change and the as the next person but leave the political and heavy emotional stuff to other genres and concentrate on the more frivolous things that the youth brain considers important.
As well as a wailing guitar and manic drumming, the chorus not only needs to be a riff so dirty no amount of showers will cleanse it, but needs to be repeated as often as possible so short verses, none of this bridge nonsense and straight into the chorus as quick as possible as that is the part of the song which will be the hook so that's where the work should be put in as the verse is just there to link together that killer chorus your fans can sing along with.  
Of course Punk is all about not following any rules and doing what you want to do and i have never written a song that has cracked the charts so i may be talking out of the top of my head but to me short, catchy, up-tempo and a subject matter that an 18-year-old full of hormones and cheap cider can relate to.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

American's And Glam Rock

When i was a kid a rumour went around that one of the drivers on the local bus was Marc Bolan's brother but it was the very early 80s and i was more concerned with getting to see ET and dreaming about marrying George Michael.
It wasn't until much later and after i discovered that i was very much barking up the wrong tree with George Michael that i came across T-Rex and realised i may have been grumpily showing my bus pass every morning to someones famous brother but if he had worn a a pink feather boa and sparkly make up on his face when he drove the number 18 around Portsmouth then i may have taken a bit more notice at the time.
As a latecomer to the joys of T-Rex and the whole glam rock thing altogether, having earlier dismissed anything 70s that wasn't punk as a spangly flare wearing DISCO tinged hell, i found a whole bunch of bands as well as T-Rex that i had previously ignored like MUD, Slade, Sweet, The Glitter Band and Wizzard.
What i didn't realise was as us mid-70s Brits were Feeling Noddy Holder's Noize, listening to the the two-penny prince Marc Bolan giving his woman in gold Hot Love and the Sweet's girl at the back saying everyone attack, Americans never got any of it. 
Glam Rock, it seems if the Starbucks CD 'Glam Revolution: The Heyday & Legacy of Glam Rock' is anything to go by, never made it across the Atlantic so the above paragraph means nothing to them so no point in mentioning Tiger Feet or Brian Connolly of the Sweet singing about his Little Willy for 3 minutes. 
The Starbucks CD has a tracklist which includes Adam and the Ants, Mika, Iggy Pop, 10cc, Queen and Placebo which certainly wouldn't make it into Gary Glitters Glam Gang or have Roy Woods baby jiving.
Maybe 70s Glam was just too British for American tastes or maybe the person in charge of picking out songs for Starbucks Glam CD was just too young for the 70's era of Glam Rock but if America did miss out on the whole Glam era, then think of Kiss, Twisted Sister and Poison in flared trousers, spangly jackets and platform shoes and throw in a few mirror balls and you won't be far off.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

I Don't Wanna Grow Up

Times change and we have to change with them and so it was inevitable that one day i would get around to sorting out my music collection. CD's lay abandoned in almost every room, congregating around the various CD players i have spotted about the place. My position has always been that CD's should be left to find their own order.
The frequently played ones will get pride of place somewhere close to the music hardware while those that i have played only once and know i never will again (i'm looking at you Greatest Hits of DISCO), drift quietly down to less accessible areas between chairs, behind the computer and under the stairs.
Some music is it easy to part with and does make you wonder just what exactly how drunk must you have been when you made the decision to part with your hard earned to buy it.
Others are just impossible to part with but as i looked back over my maturing musical tastes, i suddenly realised that my musical tastes have not matured at all.
All my life i have been listening to the angry, three minute guitar based punk stuff from the likes of The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Guns n Roses, Carter USM (who i 'borrowed' the name from for this blog), Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Green Day.
I did briefly wonder why i had not followed other friends of the same age who had fallen into liking more mellow, grown up music but that only lasted a few seconds as i threw The Ramones CD in the player, picked up the guitar, whacked the gain up on the amp and blasted out 'I Don't Wanna Grow Up'.
Altogether now..."When I'm lyin' in my bed at night, I don't wanna grow up, Nothing ever seems to turn out right, I don't wanna grow up..."

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Aretha Frankilin

Sad news about Aretha Franklin although i only really knew her name rather than being a fan of her Soul music.
Undoubtedly she had a great and distinctive voice but i only really know her from the RESPECT song and the hits she had in the mid-1980s, 'Who's Zoomin' Who', 'Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves' and 'I Knew You Were Waiting For Me'.
As Rolling Stone magazine put her at number one for the best vocalist ever and reading the websites where there seems to be genuine sadness that she has died, i will admit her songs sort of passed me by all these years but then Soul music and Motown never really did it for me.
The obvious question is will Aretha dislodge the recently appointed Prince as singer in the Best Band in Heaven and i'm afraid not.

A Level Results Day

It's 16 August so it must be A-level results day today and by now you have probably opened your results and are either staring into a cup of coffee feeling like your World has ended or you are in a group excitedly jumping up in the air and waving your exam slip which is the photograph that newspaper editors seem to like.
Other things which will happen today is that a celebrity will mention how you shouldn't worry if you didn't get the grades you wanted as they got a D in Maths and English and are currently sitting on a yacht in Monaco.
Also an older person will definitely comment how exams are much easier today than when they sat them but you can smile nicely and then ignore them because they are just trying to justify their lower grades, exams are certainly not any easier today. 
You will also be asked about your plans for the future today but today isn't the time to be fretting over that, you just finished two years of hard work, you got 50 years of work stretching out infront of you so take today to go to the pub or just do anything that isn't educational or work related and enjoy it because you earned it.
If you have been staring into a coffee all morning missing out on the results you wanted, doesn't mean you’re going to be living under a bridge for the rest of your life.
So you might not be on the path you expected, but there are many different routes to the same destination so don't give up, this just means you have to find another way to get there so cheer up and go and eat your own weight in ice cream and don't worry, the list of people who failed their A Levels include Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, Simon Cowell and JK Rowling and they turned out okay.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

I'm Not A Racist But...

Those of us on the left are facing a growing challenge from the racist and fascist right in the UK, encouraged by people like Donald Trump, Tommy Robinson and Boris Johnson whose recent remarks regarding Islamic women appeal to that same audience.
Seems a good time then for the Anti-Nazi League to announce they are remobilising to oppose the racists and fascists wherever they meet and hold large-scale events to reassert the values of a decent society fit for all and resist the rise of far-right politics in our society.
So if you are a racist and you are worried about being exposed by the anti-racists then you had better get your thinking cap on regarding how you are going to weasel out of being labelled as a hater.
Most racists tend to start their sentences with the words 'I'm not a racist but...' and then go on to say something awfully racist but that isn't going to cut it anymore so here are some tips from some famous racists.
I can't be a racist, i have a black/muslim/indian friend is a favourite although of course your black/muslim/indian friend could well think you are a dick and avoid you so it isn't really enough but we do have some other examples of racists trying desperately to show they are not actually racists afterall.
The Roseanne Barr excuse is a new one, her racism was caused by her medication of sleeping tablets, Ambien, although the makers of Ambien put out a press release that racism is not a side effect of their medication but if you have a cold and a non-white colleague confronts you with some of your facebook posts or Tweets then try blaming that Lemsip you drank.
Alcohol is another good one if you need to explain away that blog post about why Jews are evil and you would be following in the footsteps of racism pioneer Mel Gibson, who once proclaimed to police that Jews started all the wars in the world when he was pulled over for drink driving.
He also blamed too many lager and limes for tapes of him dropping the N-word and racial slurs against Latinos although Eric Clapton explained away his epic racist outburst where he explained that his comments that England was a white country and needed to send black people back to Africa as issues with his drug addiction.
If you have a background of racism then you can throw yourself on our mercy by blaming drink, medication or drug addiction because all of these sound a little bit better than just admitting that you are an ignorant, small minded, prejudiced bigot with shit for brains.

Murderers Come In All Colours And Religions

It was more luck than judgement that saw a terrorist ram his car into a immovable barrier before he could mow down pedestrians in Westminster yesterday.
For the third time in 18 months, the area has been targeted by terrorists and once again the weapon of choice was a vehicle which makes the whole thing even scarier.
While we can block off pedestrian areas to vehicles, unfortunately we are unable to stop a crazed lunatic with intent and a car from reaping havoc on our streets so what more that could be done?
These terrorists don't suddenly appear out of the woodwork as threats to society and as it has been revealed that the terrorist in this latest attack, Salih Khater, was a Muslim Sudanese refugee, the nasty right-wing mouthpieces are sure to find the solution in tougher immigration laws and louder anti-Islam rhetoric.
Police and the security services have previously said there are around 3,000 active 'subjects of interest' plus a wider pool of more than 20,000 individuals who have featured in enquiries and are kept under review.
The numbers are truly scary and even more when you hear that Khater, did not appear to be known to authorities and had no links to any fanatical religious group and was not a regular attendee to his local mosque .
It seems the current anti-terrorist strategy is to regard religion as the root of violent acts which is to dismiss the gratuitous violence whether they claim to be acting in the name of Allah, white supremacy or anti-Islam, the van driven into a crowd of Muslims outside a mosque by a white supremacist racist last year show that it isn't just one side who use vehicles as a way to kill those they deem unworthy.
Unfortunately horrible, murderous people come in all religions, colours and races.

Afghan War Trundles On

We don't seem to hear much about the war in Afghanistan these days so it has probably gone under the radar that the Taliban has retaken the city of Ghazni.
As Iran is being manoeuvred into America's military sights, the war that it has been fighting for the past 16 years goes on despite the overwhelming manpower, firepower and technology that the US has applied against the Taliban.
The Taliban, have demonstrated the ability to attack American and Afghan forces despite increased air attacks under President Donald Trump’s recently announced policy of intensifying US action which should be raising concerns in Congress and questions being asked of just how long American forces will remain in Afghanistan.
Iraq was abandoned which allowed Al Queada under the guise of Islamic State to flood back in and cause murder and mayhem and with the Taliban showing no signs of giving up a military solution in Afghanistan isn't the solution but as Americas caused the problems it has a obligation to not just leave Afghans to the whim of their attackers.
The Trump administration needs to fix what America has broken, in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya and leave the bringing of Democracy at the end of a missile alone and not meddle in the affairs of other countries because that never works as the trail of broken countries which began with Afghanistan since 2001 shows.

American Youth Turning To Socialism

The problem with Socialism in America was that people who were against it equated it with Communism so it was easy to dismiss but slowly the American public appear to be realising that it isn't the same thing at all and have started to read a bit more about it.
It was excellent to see Bernie Sanders speak of his enthusiasm for Socialism and a new Gallup Poll suggests that he has touched the minds of the youth of America with 51% aged 18-29 now viewing Socialism positively while only 45% thought Capitalism was the way ahead, down 12% from 2016.
Capitalism has a nasty habit of frequently collapsing in on itself and when it does it takes down everything with it and the youngsters have noticed it and realise that they don't have to just plough on with the faulty system and Socialism is a viable alternative.    
Possibly the drop in support for Capitalism is the beginning of the end with more Americans feeling left behind as the rich get richer and 40 million US citizens still live in poverty, and five million of these live in third world conditions according to a UN report released this June.
The Socialists now need to capitalise on what Sanders began and embrace the public’s demand for a more radical left with progressive ideas and not allow the right wing to portray Socialism as the Communist Soviet Union or North Korea and instead point to the places that have implemented successful Socialism such as the Scandinavian nations who top almost every top 10 list for education, healthcare and general welfare of its citizens that you care to pull up.
Capitalism is a failed experiment and the next generation of Americans are now seeing just how toxic it is but whether they do anything about it or if the Socialists can take advantage of it or even if there is a younger, more dynamic Bernie Sanders to take up the cudgel remains to be seen.

The Outer Space Treaty

Not enough that we have weapons to destroy us all many times over here on Earth, the big nations are now moving weapons into Outer Space with America attempting to bring in a version of the Space Forces that Russia have had since the 90s. 
What nobody seems to be mentioning is the 1967 Outer Space Treaty or to give it it's full name, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.
Signed by all the big military players, China, Russia, France, the UK and Russia, it bars the signatories from placing weapons in Earth orbit, the Moon or any other celestial body and is overseen by The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
The UK have said that they are preparing actions to counter 'intensifying threats' emerging from other nations in space and are looking to expand the role of RAF Air Command to take in military space operations while Donald Trumps America is creating a Space Force in order to counter Russian and Chinese operations.
The Chinese have the People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force responsible for 'combat operations in space' is up and running while the French Joint Space Command's mission is to: 'contribute to the operations in coordination with military operators'.
As nations are already stuffing space full of military hardware, why is the UN not screaming and waving the Outer Space Treaty that they all signed up to at these countries?
If only we put as much time and effort into making life better for all of us living on Earth rather than thinking up ways to maximise killing each other than we would be so much better off.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

God Messed Up So Says Whistleblower

When my mobile phone rang i was expecting it to be the Garage to tell me that some bit of my car had failed the MOT and i would need to sell several internal organs and my first born to pay for it but turns out it was a whistleblower from the Universe Building Committee, the team of advisors behind God.

After i turned on the recorder, the voice began explaining how God had cut corners and used shoddy materials while creating the Universe and everything in it. 
'Straight away on Day 1 we had problems' said the informer, 'we told him to take his time and we allocated at least 12 months for such a huge job but he said he wanted to get it all done in a week and the initial idea was to have just the one Sun and one planet for the humans and although we told him that he would need to make the Suns first so he could see what he was doing, he insisted that as the Hydrogen and Helium required wasn't due to be delivered until Day 4, he would just have to crack on'. 
He got a bit of paper and wrote: 'Note To Self: Sun = Day and Moon = Night' and then mashed together some rock of different sizes and said he would decide which one would be Earth later and then said he was calling it a day literally and went off for a lay down.

The second day he chose the Earth from the pile and although we told him again and again that it hadn't set properly and the top bits would crack and not fit together and slide around causing massive quakes, he ignored us and went ahead making the sky and stuck post-it notes on it saying 'Sun Here' and 'Moon Here' then he made the sea and another post-it note saying 'Fish Here' and finally on the bits sticking out of the sea which would quake terribly, he stuck the label 'Humans Here'.

On the third day he set about making the vegetation and fruit trees and he started off making them all wonderful colours but after a boozy lunch, he came back in the afternoon and decided that he was 'fed up piddling about with all those different colours' and just done everything Green before falling asleep in his armchair.  

The elements for the stars arrived early in the morning on the fourth day but straight away he just couldn't get the mix right so we ended up with hundreds of billions of stars of different sizes dotted around the Universe which kept being extended to accommodate them all. In the late afternoon and after almost using up all the Hydrogen, he finally managed to get it right and after a few attempts to
get the Sun to go around the Earth he gave up and mumbling 'nobody will notice', mashed up some more rock so each Star had at least one planet each and scattering the rest around the Universe, went off with the remaining Helium to sit in his office and make crank calls to the other deities in a squeaky voice.

On the fifth Day God was up bright and early as he planned to make all the earth's creatures and he made the sea creatures easy enough but his first few attempts at fowl that may fly above the earth were not a success, coming up with some that had wings but couldn't fly as they were too heavy and by the time he had the dimensions correct the Sun had started to set and the Moon, which was supposed to shine but still wasn't working, had risen so he quickly shoved all the black and white birds that couldn't fly and preferred to swim down the bottom of the Earth where he hoped nobody would see them and with a 'see ya tomorrow' stamped off to bed.

The sixth day he turned up in a terrible mood and began throwing together animals and placing them randomly on the Earth. The cattle and dogs and cats and things were fine but he started to make things with big claws, poisonous fangs or sharp pointy teeth and stingers so we told him to take an early lunch and come back later in a better mood to make the humans. While he was gone we managed to shift a lot of the awful creatures to what would become known as Australia before he came back.
As he left the humans to last he was running short of material so he proposed making one, the man, and then the woman later so he spent all afternoon perfecting the man, a beautiful creature combining together all the best bits of the previous animals as well as being impervious to pain and disease (why he made diseases and viruses heaven only knows), but after going for a coffee, left the man on his chair and without looking, sat on him.
Thinking nobody had noticed, he quickly scraped together some dirt in the vague shape of himself, blew into it's nostrils and shoved him quickly into a garden with some apple trees, stood up, stretched and acclaimed 'Job done'.
When we pointed out we also needed a woman he sighed and asked me to go fetch him a headache tablet and when i came back their was a woman stood next to the man who was ferociously rubbing his side and angrily shaking his fist at God and saying something about a missing rib but God quickly ushered me away towards the door and turned off the light.

When he didn't turn up on the seventh day i called him on the phone but he was adamant that he was happy with his creation as it was and that he would iron out any problems later and had allocating his son, Jesus, to keep an eye on the humans and if their was only problems he would 'pop down to sort them out later' and anyway, he will be around to answer any questions or smite those who need to be
smited' and if the humans got uppity about it he could just wipe them all out with a flood or something.

I put these accusations that his creation was a bit of a mess to God who said he was far too busy at the moment answering prayers, blessing America, saving The Queen, making sure the right athlete won the 100 metres hurdles and don't even get him started on all those Holy Wars that he had to orchestrate so he couldn't answer any questions and i should get my people to speak to his people and go through the proper channels if i wanted to speak to him.

Monday, 13 August 2018

New Singer For Best Band In Heaven

What started out as a one off concert for Jesus's birthday a few years back, the Best Band in Heaven made up of dead musicians who were just lounging around on clouds has gone from strength to strength.
We had just finished a nine night tour of Valhalla when God came up to me saying that his place had been inundated with new musical arrivals recently and although he was happy with Bonham on drums, Lemmy on bass, Strummer on guitar and Hendrix on lead guitar, he was keen to exploit some of the newer singers that had shown up recently and he was never really happy with the Freddy Mercury man laying with man thing so he sent me a list of new, popular musical arrivals which would appeal to the younger generation of recently deceased.
Fearing a thunderbolt i decided to make use of Google to see who was the most popular dead singer so using the tried and trusted 'I Love...' method, i ended up with the following list:

Prince 714,000,000 hits 
David Bowie 47,700,000 hits
John Lennon 45,500,000 hits
Jim Morrison 27,700,000 hits
Freddie Mercury 27,400,000 hits
Tom Petty 27,000,000 hits
Jimi Hendrix 19,100,000 hits
Chris Cornell 15,400,000 hits
Janis Joplin 14,300,000 hits
Kurt Cobain 13,500,000 hits

Not one to upset a deity who once sent two bears to maul 42 kids to death for making fun of a bald guy, i told Freddy to do one and drafted in Prince to go front and centre hoping that he wasn't still doing that weird squiggle thing with his name.
I telephoned God to tell him who the internet had picked and after he said he was happy with the publics choice he said he wanted to discuss the playlist as he wasn't sure about the inclusion of 'Sympathy for the Devil' and 'Highway to Hell', but the line suddenly went dead and we were suspiciously cut off.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

A New Era For Arsenal

As the memory of Arsene Wenger fades, for Arsenal and it's fans it's the dawn of a new era, the era of Spaniard Unai Emery and it starts today against reigning Champions and title favourites again this year, Manchester City.
So far Emery has said and done all the right things and Arsenal looked particularly good playing in the pre-season International Champions Cup friendlies although to be fair it may not be fair to judge Emery in his first game against the expensively assembled Manchester City team who will sweep all before them again this year as they did last season.
I don't think many gooners are expecting us to be slugging it out for the title this season and even the top four has got fairly crowded so i'm looking at a slow improvement with Emery continuing to build over the next two transfer windows and moving towards getting back into the top four as a first step before putting together a challenge for the title in the coming seasons.
I hope to see more of the impressive teenager Mattéo Guendouzi who excelled in midfield in pre-season and i hope that Arsene, wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying your retirement and that you too enjoy Arsenal's season without the pressure. 

Where Did It Go Wrong?

A decade after the 2008 financial crash, Britain's councils are once again having their budgets cut and Somerset, Norfolk and Lancashire county councils join the growing list of councils who are suffering 'financial stress' or in laymans terms, effectively bankrupt due to 'reducing levels of funding from central government'.
Northampton County Council have informed they can now only run a skeleton staff and do the bare minimum to keep functioning so why after ten years of austerity, is the UK bank account still in such a poor shape?
The massive bankers’ bailouts that were introduced following the collapse was paid for by ordinary taxpayers, who then saw their living standards plummet as governments imposed harsh austerity measures, which led to important public services being cut.
Following the 2010 General Election, the Conservatives held an emergency 'austerity budget' which we were told was going to 'rebuild the economy' and announced £17bn cuts in public spending, Royal Mail was privatised, a public sector wage freeze and a rise in the state pension age to 67.
Meanwhile, British workers suffered the biggest drop in real earnings since the Victorian age, 1.5 million people were pushed in poverty, 3.7 million to food banks and council spending on everyday necessities slashed.
Everywhere you look, we’re worse off than 10 years ago despite deep austerity and severe cuts so where has it gone so very, very wrong and why is it still getting worse?

Friday, 10 August 2018

Tories And Labour's Religion Problems

Lucky there isn't a General Election coming up because the Muslim and Jewish population of the UK would have a problem with both of the main parties tying themselves up in knots over who can annoy them.
Not content with their 'hostile environment' for anyone not a white Brit policy, the Conservatives are unpicking bunches from their knickers over Boris Johnson's musings that Islamic women in burkas look like bank robbers and letterboxes.
As the racist UKIP voters who abandoned Farage's Party found a comfortable fit in the Conservative Party then Johnson is obviously appealing to that element although he may well have blown any chance of picking up Theresa May's crown when she is pushed after March.
If the right are in turmoil then so are the left with Jeremy Corbyn having a ding-dong with Jewish voters over his refusal to accept the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition on antisemitism.
I have some sympathy with Corbyn because the part he refuses to accept is where it equates criticism of Israel with anti-semitism and would legitimise the often attempted way of shutting down criticism of Israel when it goes about it evil business against the Palestinians.
As the more racist right wingers find a home in today's Conservatives, the real anti-semites find a home in today's Labour Party but why Corbyn hasn't just adapted the IHRA definition to state that they accept criticism of Judaism as anti-semitic but criticism of the actions of the Israel Government is legitimate and call it an enhanced IHRA definition or IHRA plus is not clear.
It is now in the interests of the Labour Party to push the Conservatives are anti-muslim and the Conservatives to push the Labour are anti-Jew angles so this could rumble on for some time yet.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Who The Internet Loves And Hates

As the world becomes more divided, it’s not easy for a person to work out who we should be applauding and who to throw the rotten fruit at but luckily we have google to find out the answer. Using the Words 'I Love...' and ‘I Hate…’  we can find out by looking at the number of hits to get a snapshot of who the Internet is loving and hating at the moment

Most loved/hated politician
It may come as a surprise to some but American President Donald Trump is the one feeling the love at the moment with 524,000,000 loving hits, then our very Theresa May holding his hand in second place with 114,000,000 hits and the cuddly Kim Jong-Un taking third place with 43,900,000 hits.
Showing what a divisive figure he is, Donald Trump is also the most hated politician on the internet with 92,400,000 hits, then the UK’s very own Theresa May with 33,200,000 and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in third with 7,830,000 hits.

Most loved/hated country
Everyone loves America, or at least 1,660,000,000 on the Internet do as they finish top with Canada coming in a close second with 1,160,000,000 hits and then Australiawith 1,070,000,000 results.
Oh well, before America celebrates too much it also tops the most hated country list also with 543,000,000 hits, then China 524,000,000 hits and Australia with 408,000,000 hits.

Most loved/hated decade
Whether it was the summer of love or all the drugs being smoked, the 1960s take the accolade as the top decade with 151,000,000 hits followed by the 1970s  with 147,000,000 and then the 1980’s.
Probably due to people remembering being made to wear flares and listen to DISCO music, the 1970s is also the most hated decade with 46,600,000 hits, then the 80s just missing out with 42,700,000 hits and the 60s in third with 23,400,000 hits.

Most loved/hated musical genre
Maybe there are just more headbangers on the internet because  the most loved musical genre was Rock with 1,630,000,000 hits, then a rhinestone studded shirt of Country and Western with 536,000,000 results and jazz with 485,000,000 hits making up the top three.
Hell yeah followed by a quick 'you suck' to Rock as the internet also hates it the most with 447,000,000 then the rhinestones fall off spectacularly for Country and Western the second most hated with 80,300,000 hits and then Rap with 66,600,000 hits.

So confusingly Donald Trump in America in the 60s playing rock music was as good as it gets while Donald Trump in America in the 70s playing rock music is the ultimate low.