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.  

Monday, 6 August 2018

Dealing With The No Deal Brexit Crisis - Scientifically

As usual, when times get tough we look towards that long haired man tied to a cross for inspiration.
"Some things in life are bad" sang Eric Idle, "They can really make you mad, Other things just make you swear and curse, When you're chewing on life's gristle, Don't grumble, Give a whistle, And this'll help things turn out for the best."
Yes, the Government appear to be measuring us all up for a paddle-less Brexit boat to fit us all in for that trip to a certain creek but there are some things you can do to cheer yourself up. And all scientifically proven although admittedly they could result in premature death if indulged to excess.

If you feel down about your shares dropping like a banker from the 7th floor of the Lloyd's building, have a cigarette. Scientists have found that smoking helps prevent the onset of various forms of dementia. It also suppresses appetite so you will keep your marbles longer and stay slimmer. Probably not the best way to avoid obesity, but it's certainly easier than doing laps at the local pool.

Want to take your mind off the rising cost of a loaf of bread? Clamp your mobile to your ear and have a bash at that hard Sudoku in the Times. Studies at the Bristol Oncology Center have found that people exposed to mobile-phone radiation were 4% faster at certain mental tasks than others.

Fed up watching the gloomy faced anchorman explaining short selling yet again? Don't do anything drastic like go to bed early, channel surf. Researchers at Vandebilt University in Nashville found that you'll use up 20% more energy watching television than lying in bed. Find a channel showing an old Seinfeld episode and you will use up even more energy trying to throw the remote through the TV.

Hacked off because you can't sell anymore bodily organs to fill your car with Petrol? Slam your favourite CD into the CD player and turn the volume up to 10 because researchers at the University of Manchester have discovered that loud music activates a primitive acoustic sense in the ear which stimulates the same areas of our brains that makes us think we might be about to get some bedroom gymnastics. Of course it will make you go deaf and annoy the neighbours but you will get that twinkle in your eye. I would avoid James Blunt Cd's though, the only thing twinkling will be your CD player as it bounces off the pavement below.

Trust the findings from the Institute for Preventive Medicine in Copenhagen to help when you watch your car being towed away by the repo department. Danish researchers have found that drinking alcohol reduces the tendency of blockages to form in blood vessels, helps protect against dementia, increase bone mineral density in women and even lowers blood pressure.

Finding it tougher to make the housekeeping stretch with each trip to the Supermarket? Empty your trolley of all those low fat yoghurt's and take a detour down the chocolate aisle because researchers from Holland's National Institute of Public Health and Environment, have found that chocolate contains a chemical that could prevent cancer and heart disease. Boiled potatoes or a heart disease preventing Mars bar, hmmm, tough one.

Tired of trying to understand what the red squiggles on the charts of the Dow Jones or FTSE index means? Reach for the Java because Dr Jonathan Geiger of the University of North Dakota has found that the Caffeine in Coffee lowers the risk of Alzheimer's and strokes.

So if anyone asks, you are not laying on the sofa with a cigarette in the ashtray, coffee in one hand, Bacardi breezer in the other whilst listening to System Of A Down at full volume and stuffing Snickers into your mouth. You are following a Scientifically proven method to deal with Brexit.


Sunday, 5 August 2018

Wanna Do A Deal America?

It is hard to ignore America. That great wedge of land beneath Canada and above Mexico has spread its tentacles all around the globe and no more than to Britain where we have a history of borrowing some aspects of the American lifestyle. As, due to Brexit, we are soon to be in negotiations with Uncle Sam over all manner of things, I have put forward a few suggestions of things we could thrash out for things we both have that would benefit the other.

The first thing i would ask for is the US National Anthem. Great tune which soars to a passionate crescendo of pride filled gusto. Ours is so bland and tuneless even a rockets red flare up the backside wouldn't be enough to breath life into it. For this we would give you changeable weather. Yes we are obsessed with it here but that's because it is so unpredictable that we literally can have 3 days of weather in 1. It is what ex-pats miss the most apparently because the weather in most of America is so reliably unchanging.

Next on the table is your sportsmen. I don't know if you have noticed but our sporting fraternity isn't bad but we could do better. We have terrible tennis players, awful athletes, god awful golfers and shite swimmers. We will take any on offer, we are not proud.
Your sportsmen in exchange for the British Communications Regulator (OFCOM) who ensure that the television news channels keep to a Broadcasting code of accuracy, impartiality and fairness in television and radio programmes. I have seen Fox news. You need OFCOM.

Something we need that you have is exciting politics and politicians. Watch our House of Commons, most of them are either asleep or have lost the will to even pretend they are not bored to death. No Obama-esque orations or Clinton style passion. Heck, i would even settle for some Hillary type pointing and manic grinning over Theresa May and her strangely eerie smile. No Trump though, you can't foister him off on us.
For this we offer you the letter U. The amount of times i have been accused of having the spelling skills of a monkey by you Americans. It's our language, we had it first so would it kill you to stick some U's into words? We would throw in an -ise to sweeten the deal so you can get shot of that -ize.

With the exception of a few bands you could count on two fingers, British music is in a bad way. You have more decent bands than you could shake a Amy Winehouse spliff at so throw a few of them this way and we give you the ability to not applaud every ten seconds. It drives me crazy trying to listen to someone over there and the speaker is constantly interrupted by applause and whooping.

Judges that hand out creative sentences like the man who called a police officer a pig and was ordered to stand on a street corner next to a pig with a sign saying the pig was not a police officer. You can have our game of football, or soccer as you insist on calling it. American football just looks like a load of men who jump on each other and then get substituted by another group of men who do the same thing over and over again. Seriously lacks the poetry and skill of a good old fashioned soccer match.

Finally, David Boreanaz, George Clooney, Brad Pitt. We have no good looking male actors. We have Hugh Grant. Not very fair but i think you will be more than pleased to accept a selection of British swearwords for the trio. I know you don't have 'T*s**r' and its stronger cousin 'W*a*k*r' but how about ar*e, bo**ocks, bugg*r, sod and git? Tempted?

That's that then, mull it over and let us know what you are interested in.

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Friday, 3 August 2018

England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, UK, Britain And Great Britain

Donald Trump's grasp of most things is, to be polite, limited but geography is especially lacking in the orange one, due to his little fingers not being able to turn the page on the atlas or something but he has surpassed even himself while talking about his recent visit to the UK at a rally to his fellow deplorables in Pennsylvania.
Addressing his fellow racists and fruitcakes he begins an anecdote by saying: 'I have great respect for the UK, United Kingdom. Great respect. People call it Britain, they call it Great Britain, they used to call it England'.
That would be England the country being confused with Great Britain which includes Scotland and Wales and then he threw in the UK which includes all the above along with Northern Ireland. It really isn't that hard but maybe he was talking pre-1707 before we were all unified.
Anyway, fake news as England has never been called Britain or Great Britain it's always been called, surprise surprise, England but now those of us in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the UK, Britain and Great Britain can all agree what a colossal moron the idiotic man is all at the same time.

90 Days Of Summer: Day 64

If i had a pound for everytime i have said it's too hot this summer then i could afford to hire an igloo at the North Pole until September but as nobody has been handing out quids to me, i have to stay here and suffer it with everyone else.
Just when we thought it was safe to go outside again, the sun decides to crank up the temperature and scorch us all as the heatwave is back and this time it's even bigger and better than before. 
Temperatures in Britain this weekend are expected to reach around 34°C and even Northern Finland have recorded temperatures of 32°C while parts of Spain and Portugal could potentially reach 50C according to experts and people are being warned to stay out of the sun.
PlayStation UK has been handing out tips on Twitter including wear sunscreen, drink lots of water and stay indoors and play video games in your underwear but that's what most gamers do anyway regardless of the weather outside.
My go-to solution is to sigh and mumble incoherently about being hot every couple of minutes but as yet this has not helped so i'm going for plan B which is to employ psychology and play some Christmas songs.
If an hour of listening to songs about snow and winter wonderlands doesn't work then my last ditch solution is to wait until my husband is holding a cold glass of water and then call him a rude name and hopes he throws it in my face.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Picking Your Football Team

After a World Cup, the viewing figures for football matches always go up and the Premier League is soon to kick off so newcomers to the world of football have the problem of which team to support.
The Premier League sides breaks down into 3 loose divisions, the Big 6 who will divide up the winners pots come May, the relegation fodder who will spend the season trying to avoid looking at the league table and the teams who float around between them both not doing very much.  
While it is true that every team offers something unique, in reality you don't want to get stuck with a team that will get kicked out of the Premier League never to be seen on TV again so Wolves, Watford, Southampton, Fulham, Cardiff, Brighton, Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace can be left on the shelf unless you are some sort of masochist and enjoy the fans of other teams reminding you of that latest 5-0 hammering your team received.

The mid-division teams include Burnley, Everton, Leicester, Newcastle and West Ham who are in the division purely to beat the relegation fodder while in turn get beaten by the teams at the sharp end of the league which leaves six teams who you can realistically support and not face ridicule week after week so after disregarding the chaff, we are left with the wheat, and the first is Tottenham Hotspur.

Tottenham Hotspur:
League Titles (2), FA Cups (8), League Cups (4), UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1), UEFA Cup (2)
Famous Fans: Adele, Alan Sugar, Bruce Forsyth, Jessie J, J. K. Rowling, Paul Whitehouse, Salman Rushdie, Stephen Mangan.

The Harry Kane effect will be evident here, drawing many newcomers to Tottenham and if you are the sort of person who never finishes things or loses interest halfway through then Tottenham, or Spurs, should be your team as they are the one team you can rely on to buckle under the pressure and fall spectacularly from grace which is brilliant fun to watch as long as you are not a Spurs fan.
As a Tottenham fan you will have to legally hate Arsenal fans.
If they were a cartoon character they would be Wile E Coyote who does all he can and just when it looks as though he will succeed, invariably ends up in free-fall down the side of a cliff holding a sign that says 'Help'.

League Titles (6), FA Cup (8), League Cup (5), UEFA Cup (1), UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (2)
Famous Fans: Michael Caine, Simon Pegg, Renee Zellwegger, Johhny Vaughan, David Baddiel, Jeremy Clarkson, Damon Albarn, Bryan Adams,  Geri Halliwell, John Major, Gordon Ramsey.

Owned by a Russian multi-billionaire friend of Vladimir Putin, Chelsea are the team to beat but considering they are chock full of the best players Russian rubles can buy such as Eden Hazard, boy can they be boring to watch but they have a new manager so that may change. They can either be brilliant or hopeless which is why people like to watch them.
As a Chelsea fan you will have to legally hate fans of QPR and Fulham.
If they were a cartoon character they would be Mr Burns from the Simpsons, rich and successful but not very well liked.

Manchester United:

League Titles (20), FA Cup (12), League Cup (5), European Cup (3), European Cup Winners' Cup (1), UEFA Europa League (1)
Famous Fans: Usain Bolt, Ulrika Jonsson, Steve Coogan, Olly Murs, Tinchy Stryder, Snoop Dogg, Orlando Bloom, Harry Styles, Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum, Rihanna.

The choice of the glory hunter, the team for anyone who wants to walk around saying their team are champions of everything and they did right up until they won zip and the country was deafened by the sound of Man Utd replica tops being thrown into the bin.
Managed by a man with an ego so big that the players train by running around it, everyone's second favourite team is whoever is playing Manchester United that day. Were brilliant, then went rubbish but on the way back so probably a good time to be a Manchester United fan because the fans of every other team have already taken their revenge and revelled in their short demise.
As a Man Utd fan you will have to legally hate fans of Man City.
If they were a cartoon character they would be Tom from Tom & Jerry, makes everyone else laugh when it all goes horribly wrong and he ends up looking ridiculous with his head stuck through a fence and a bowl of milk on his head.

Manchester City:
League Titles (5), FA Cup (5), League Cup (5), European Cup Winners' Cup (1)
Famous Fans: Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Jason Orange, Andrew Flintoff, Ricky Hatton, Alan Carr, Jason Manford, Michelle Keegan, Princess Beatrice of York.

Since one side of Manchester slipped away, the other has stepped up with the help of the Abu Dhabi United Group who have spent well over £1 billion transforming the squad into one that could dominate the Premier League. Man City are the current champions and have some of the most exciting players to watch but despite the billion pound blown on players, have not yet attracted the same amount of vitriol as Man Utd or Chelsea for 'buying' the titles they have won but that will come so this may be the last chance to get in and claim supportership before the inevitable taunt of 'glory hunter' is thrown at anyone with a Manchester City shirt.
As a Man City fan you will have to legally hate fans of Man Utd.
If they were a cartoon character they would be Bart Simpson, been around a while but is just starting to wear out his welcome.

League Titles (18), FA Cup (7), League Cups (8), European Cup (5), UEFA Cup (3)
Famous Fans: Gary Barlow, Dr Dre, Daniel Craig, Samuel L. Jackson, Liam Neeson, Angelina Jolie, Ricky Tomlinson, Elvis Costello, Lana Del Rey, Craig Charles, Ronan Keating, Russell Howard

The team who once lit up Europe but have since spent the last 2 decades saying they are coming back to do it all again but are only now actually looking like ever getting there. Past glories keep older Liverpool fans warm at night but for the newcomer, the recent Liverpool was like being told you are being taken out for a meal and ending up at McDonalds, it's technically still a restaurant but not really
what you were expecting but with Jurgen Klopp at the helm and a large transfer budget, the Liverpool of old could finally be on their way back.
As a Liverpool fan you will have to legally hate fans of Everton.
If they were a cartoon character they would be Mickey Mouse, once ruled over everything but peaked a while ago.

League Titles (13), FA Cup (13), League Cup (2), UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1),
Famous Fans: Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zac Efron, Idris Elba, Keanu Reeves, David Schwimmer, Bradley Walsh, Mick Jagger, John Lydon, Alan Davies, Bradley Wiggins, Lewis Hamilton,  Mo Farah, Jeremy Corbyn

Generally regarded as the thinking mans team and when they are good they are very very good but when they aren't good, oh dear. They have a new manager this season but under Arsene Wenger they played a beautiful game with skill and speed but if you pick Arsenal as your team you will have to learn the basic shout that all Arsenal fans master of 'Stop fannying about with it and shoot the bloody thing' as the 75th pass makes it way across the opponents 18 yard box. All means that for all the beautiful football, they will end up outside of the top 4 yet again but they will look damned good doing it.
As an Arsenal fan you will have to legally hate fans of Tottenham.
If they were a cartoon character they would be Jessica Rabbit, beautiful to look at and involved in the action all the way through but never one of the main players.

There are a couple of teams who may press the top six and could be worth taking a punt on including:

One of the few teams who have broken away from the previous group and look as though they could disrupt the normal order of things but they have been punching above their weight and have the distraction of European football this season so potentially could be firmly dragged back into the former group before they have chance to add to the one FA Cup they won in 1914.
As a Burnley fan you will have to legally hate Blackburn Rovers fans.
If they were a cartoon character they would be Barney Rubble, there as much as everyone else but everyone is watching what the bigger and better Fred is doing.

This club has a very good honours list which includes 9 League Titles, 5 FA Cups and a European Cup Winners' Cup but are probably most famous for being a club from Liverpool but not being Liverpool. A safe team to support because while you won't be walloped by the big fish very often, you won't ever celebrate winning anything either.
As an Everton fan you will have to legally hate fans of Liverpool.
If they were a cartoon character they would be Velma from Scooby Doo, in the midst of the action but nobody would miss her if she wasn't.

So there's your teams but pick carefully because once chosen, you pretty much have to stick with them forever as swapping teams is highly frowned upon in the football world.

 downloadable pdf

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Tommy Robinson Free For Now

One of the many problems with the right wing is that they don't have many heroes on their side of the fence so they tend to congregate around some less than savoury characters which is why they have been clamouring over Stephen Yaxley-Lennon or Tommy Robinson as he calls himself now.
Yaxley-Lennon has been freed from prison on bail after winning an appeal against a contempt of court conviction although most of his supporters seemed to think he was imprisoned for some sort of 'free speech' infringement.
In truth, the sun bed shop owner was warned about live videoing a criminal trial, was warned to stop, then given a suspended sentence and when he still carried on, was jailed for 13 months so no free speech issues there.
The EDL leader admitted the charge and deleted the offending material but it isn't the first time Yaxley-Lennon has had a close up view of a prison cell.
He had previously been handed a suspended sentence for contempt of court after live-streaming at another case in Canterbury in 2017. Among other arrests, he was also previously detained for 'incitement' after a protest in 2013, and was jailed for 18 months for mortgage fraud in 2014.
He has a previous conviction for assaulting an off duty policeman, serving a 12-month sentence that time and in 2011 was convicted of using 'threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour' at a football riot and was handed a 12-month community rehabilitation order with 150 hours unpaid work and a three-year ban from attending football matches.
He was arrested again after an EDL demonstration for breach of bail conditions and was later convicted of common assault after headbutting a fellow EDL member at a rally for which he enjoyed a 12 month suspended prison sentence.
He was also sentenced to 3 days prison and a £3,000 fine for protesting on the rooftop of the FIFA headquarters in Zürich.
Yaxley-Lennon may be a free man today but as the court of appeal ordered that he should be retried on the contempt of court charge due to 'procedural deficiencies', he will probably be back in soon anyway.
Talking sense to the racist right wing is no use as they are too busy trying to work out the front and back of their Union Jack underpants but the fact they are rallying around the cause for a violent football hooligan and fraudster should tell you all you need to know about them.

Not Climate Change Say Climate Change Victims

Standing infront of your house while it burns down with the rest of the forest around you is not a good look for denying climate change but some of the now homeless citizens of the California town of Redding tried to pull it off this morning.
US congressman Doug LaMalfa said that he 'didn’t buy human-made climate change' and that there was 'a lot of bad science behind what people are calling global warming' when challenged by a reporter his thought that scientists connected the blaze engulfing everything in it's path over his shoulder with climate change.
Of course some people are just slower on the uptake and it will take more than the 99% of climate scientists agreeing and the library worth of evidence to sway them and by a lucky fluke, in 2016, a team from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication questioned Redding residents on climate change and found that only 35% of Redding residents believed that global warming would harm them personally, 5% lower than the national average, and 12% less than the average Californian.
No surprise then that you could swing a flaming stick and hit a climate change denier in Redding which is exactly what the camera team did and found a group of them who blamed it on being 'fire season', 'more people living out further and further in the woods', 'efforts to limit logging' but certainly not climate change leading to drier vegetation and tinderbox conditions.
One climate change denying resident just shrugged and said: 'The good Lord has to fix it' although i think the fire service and not polluting the planet in the first place may be more beneficial.

Tea Drinkers Dilemma

People take their tea many different ways, my usual method is to make it and set it down to let it cool slightly before forgetting i have a cup of tea and having to make another one.
I know people who insist on their tea being made a certain way, some want their milk first while others want it added last but unless they are in the room watching me, they get it whichever way i throw the ingredients into the cup.
Such is the debate over it that YouGov commissioned a poll to find out the best way to make tea and 80% of people who had far too much time on their hands to answer surveys about how to make tea agreed that it should be hot water before the milk.
They also found out that the majority of Brits prefer their tea to be pale beige but that confuses me because how do the 80% know what colour the brew will be until the milk has been added?
Other tidbits that they found included that 58% of Brits drink tea on a daily basis, with 11% drinking more than five cups a day, while 22% don't drink tea at all.
Conclusive evidence then that 80% of people really shouldn't come around my place for a cuppa because chances are it won't be made the way you like it and colour-wise it could range from anything from darkest black to anemic white and all shades between.

The Del Boy School Of Brexit

I have always thought that Brexit of any flavour wouldn't happen, that at some point the Government would decide that it would just too much of an economic hit for us to take and would abandon it, hopefully taking enough flak from the 52 percenters to get them removed from Government for a generation.
As the March 2019 deadline approaches i am starting to think that i did not take into account the sheer incompetence of the Conservative Government who have surpassed even the very low bar that i had set for them in disastrous and bungling policies.
There are no deals we could cook up which could be any better than our current arrangements but this hasn't sunk int the heads of the remainers who still delude themselves that we will be somehow better off going our own way from the largest single market in the World.
I say we should cast aside this sorry episode of national humiliation, Brexit was always only a ridiculous pipe-dream anyway, but Theresa May is in such a weak position that she can't so on we go towards the brink with the result of a no-deal and us crashing out to chaos, job losses, civil unrest, the break up of the U.K. and consequences that still have yet to show themselves.
The call for another referendum and a public vote is growing now that we know the facts of what Brexit actually means and maybe this is the strategy, to scare the public into supporting a new vote on Brexit, with the option of abandoning it altogether but that is giving credit to a Government who until now have been following the Del Boy model of how not to run a country.