Sunday, 25 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Leonardo Da Vinci

Ciao, Leonardo here and i am a bringing you da love and da peace. I was called a genius because i came up with so much good stuff but really i did not do so much because i hardly ever finish anything i start.
A man come up to me and he say 'Hey Leonardo, i givva you a lots of gold for a robot lion and i say sure, and i take his money and i think about it, and think some more, and then some more and then i think of painting a picture of a flower and go off and do that instead and the man he say 'Hey Leonardo, where my lion' and i say 'will be ready by Friday', and under my breath Friday 1520.
I did gets a lot of commissions from the Church for alter pieces which i never did but i was no worried about them, not like a bunch of Friars is gonna turn up saying 'nice studio you got here Leonardo, be a shame if something happened to it if you know what we mean'.
Amongst my friends were Cesare Borgia and Niccolò Machiavelli, a couple of real spicy meatballs, so nobody mess with Leonardo, especially the Church when they came to ask where their alter pieces were and i say i haven't done them but i did invent a brilliant solar powered water jug.
I did toy around with flying machines but one of my best works was the mural of The Last Supper which i based on my family so Jesus is my Uncle Guiseppe, he standing up saying who had the fig rolls and John the Baptist is my father and he saying 'i'm not paying that much, i only had a glass of wine and a few sausage rolls'.
One of my rivals was Michaelangelo and i would go to the Sistine Chapel and shout up to him 'Hey Mickey, you missed a bit' or i would tease him from the bottom of his scaffold and say 'Hey, that David statue got a very little winkie, he based on you MickeyAngelo' and he would chase me out the room.
So my legacy would be of a genius that when it come to starting things and not finishing them i was...Arrivederci!

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Albert Einstein

It's hard trying to live up to a reputation as the Worlds most cleverest man, people are always getting me to set up their computers or ask me if i'm so clever why haven't i worked out how a comb works. 
I am most famous for coming up with the theory of relativity and that famous equation of E=MC2 although nobody seems to know what any of the letters stand for or what it means but it makes me sound even brighter if nobody understands it which would explain why nobody got my nerdy joke about how we all matter until we multiply ourselves times the speed of light squared then your just energy. Seriously, if you understood it you would be ringing the hospital and asking for your sides to be stitched back together.
I was a pacifist but not against the German Nazi's so once i realised that energy of an atom could be released as explosive energy, i contacted President Roosevelt to warn of the NAZI threat if they got the bomb first and he initiated the Manhattan Project which led to the Atom Bomb and in a spectacular twist, the Americans decided to drop it on a different country altogether and as one extra neutron destabilised the nucleus in one atom which split the atom apart and in turn dislodged thousands of other Nuclei, E=MC2 and the instant death of hundreds of thousands of people in Japan.
The horror of what i had done led me to becoming a pacifist again and i tried to make amends by going on peace tours until i died and that turned out to be a bit of a cock up because i made sure my last words were something poignant, moving and compassionate but i made the mistake of saying it in German and the nurse present didn't speak German so i was a genius in many ways but in other
ways i was a real dumbass.
So my actual last words anyone understood were 'Hey Nurse, better grab the bucket, that suppository worked a treat' which are certainly moving, but not much poignancy there.   
Within hours of my death they had removed my brain and pickled it in a jar for posterity which had i known, telling them not to remove my brain would have been my last words.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Pontius Pilate

In my defence i was rushing to get to an orgy and it was getting towards the end of the day and my Personal Assistant Linda turned up with a death warrant just as i was heading out the door.
'A Jewish Hippy Carpenter who says he is the son of God' she said when i asked her who it was so i dashed off my signature and headed off to pick up the goat and a few extra long root vegetables before heading off to Flavia's orgy.
So while i was technically the man who sentenced Jesus to crucifixtion, i signed lots of death warrants, i was killing people left right and centre and he was on the list, and Jews saying they were the Messiah were ten a penny back then, odds were i would eventually kill the real one but the Jews were a real thorn in my side in Ancient Judea which was a great place to live apart from the Jews messing up the temples and you could get nothing done over Passover because they were all feasting and cluttering up the place.
You could even go as far as to say that i was the man who created Christianity because if i hadn't have crucified him in his prime, he would only have ended up like Elvis and been all bloated and massive sideburns in a stretchy white toga and there would be no Easter and that long weekend but where's my thanks for that?  
It almost never happened of course because i did give the Judean crowd the choice of releasing Jesus or a thief called Barabbas and the crowd, all made up of the Jews this guy said he was king of remember, said free the thief so he toddled off and in a double whammy not only did their king get nailed up on a cross but when they got home half found they had had their belongings nicked.
So my legacy should be i invented Christianity as it is known today although i was nailing up people like a madman so i could have killed any number of messiahs and their religions before they even got going.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Leon Trotsky

When it comes to the Russian Revolution, everybody knows Stalin and Lenin but mention the name Leon Trotsky and i was very much the forgotten member, the Michael Collins of the Revolution.
I was always protesting against something, my first was when i organised a strike in nursery school when they ran out of cuppy cakes but i got put on the naughty step and cried and wet myself until my mum picked me up but that set me on my path.
When i was exiled to Siberia i tried to unionise a group of penguins but i missed people and it was so fricking cold and the Siberians were not happy that i had been sent there, 'Our home is so shitty they sent you here as punishment?' they would moan. 
Lenin was a nice guy but Stalin and i never got along with, he would mock my little chin beard i would make fun of his stupid moustache although if i had known how touchy he was about it that he would later assassinate me, i probably wouldn't have called it his Snot Mop quite so much.
Stalin and Lenin are the usual historical Communist bogey men but for some reason, i seem to have escaped unscathed which irks me.
Apart from a mention by The Stranglers in their song 'No More Heroes', i hardly ever get an airing , it's always those other two hogging the hate which is even more stranger when you consider i was the one who advocated permanent revolution which would have spread Communism worldwide. The other two lightweights were content to hold what they had.
If it wasn't for the occasional joke about ice picks, i would just never be mentioned and i was as much part of the Russian Revolution as Joseph and Vladimir.
I did get one of the main roles in George Orwell's Animal Farm as Snowball and yet i am spared the wrath of nutty right wingers who warn that people protesting against banks will lead to a re-run of the Great Purges from New York to that place down the bottom full of oranges, old people and voting machines that don't work properly.
I say i should be treated with as much laughingly bad hyperbole as Stalin and Lenin by right wingers and Fox News who want to scare their viewers that not making you pay for your health care is a slippery slope to the workers controlling the means of production.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Nostradamus

Of course i knew that Lucy was going to ask me to write a guest post on her blog but then knowing things before they happen is my game.
In 1555, i predicted the Great Fire of London, the French Revolution, Louis Pasteur's Discoveries, the rise of Hitler, nuclear weapons and even the assassination of JFK although some of my lesser known predictions do not gain quite so much attention.
As well as predicting Vanilla Ice, i got Tamagotchi's and even Ginger Spice leaving the Spice Girls but there are some big things i missed but that was because my visions came to me in the form of dreams.  
One criticism was that i never got the birth of America but that was because the Pilgrims were haggling over the cost of the Mayflower when i woke up desperate for a pee.
When i got back to sleep afterwards, my dream was then about Madeleine de La Tour d'Auvergne doing something interesting with an aubergine so it kinda got missed out.
It was the same with WW1, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was looking at a road map of Serbia and whoops, gotta pee, and then the dream was about Galileo Galilei sitting on a chair while suggestively eating a carrot. 
Aside from my predictions, i had a neat little sideline where i would sell rose pills as protection against the plague which was ravaging Europe at the time.
You don't need to have the power of prediction to know that a pill made from crushed roses really shouldn't have worked and surprise surprise they never, even my own wife and children dying of the plague, which moved me greatly, moved me to Southern France actually where i married a rich widow and died of gout years later.
If i had known that people would still be paying attention to my book 500 years later i would have written it better and if i had known people would still be believing it, then can i interest you in some plague stopping rose pills?

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Mahatma Ghandi

I was all about the non violent protest so we, the oppressed, would say to the British 'Hey, stop oppressing us' and they would hit us over the head and we would fall down and then we would go back next day and say again 'Hey British, stop oppressing us' and they would hit us again and this went on for about 16 years.
To be honest, i really didn't have much of a plan to free India from under British rule and with hindsight maybe kicking a few of them in the balls would have caused them to focus a bit quicker but i was mostly barefoot and was stick thin and always on hunger strike so could barely lift my head let alone swing a leg but we live and learn.
The British were complete jerks, i lived in Britain for four years but the biggest jerk had to be Winston Churchill who called all Indians 'a beastly people with a beastly religion' and he considered me the beastliest of them all, even blaming me for any violence despite my whole schtick being non-violence. 
I was often asked what i thought of Western Civilisation and i would reply that i thought it would be a great idea, laugh a minute me but i had to be considering i spent so long either knocked out or being knocked out, it must have shaken a few grey cells loose.
One of my greatest accomplishments was the declaration that milk stimulated sexual passion and to prove it i abstained from milk and proved it by sleeping naked with hundreds of women as an experiment and as i was married, i did wonder just how many times the British had hit my wife over the head for me to get away with that one.
My milk 'experiments' were suddenly ended a year after Indian independence by an assassins gun and although the nation was split into two and religious intolerance has reigned ever since between the two, i proved that non-violent protest works and that even the most nerdiest looking six stone weakling can get to lay with a different naked woman every night as long as he calls it an 'experiment'.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Emperor Nero

Reading history books you could be excused for thinking that i was an arrogant, self-centred mummy's boy and there is far too much about killing my mother and executing my first wife and kicking my second wife to death and far less about what an excellent fiddle player i was, and damn i was good.
During the great fire of Rome, which may or may not have been started by me, i had called all the Senators to my place to allow them the pleasure of listening to me play and although they protested that the city was going up in flames, being the consummate professional that i was, i insisted that the show must go on and if i say so myself, it was an epic performance, like Hendrix at Woodstock all those years later only without so many drugs.
I don't think the Senators were really paying attention, the city burning down around them and all that and i detected a severe lack of enthusiasm when i asked them to wave their hands in the air like they just didn't care so on the one hand Rome burned to a cinder but on the other, i gave a truly cracking show.
The history books also make me sound awful, especially the using burning Christians to light my garden at night but i tried Muslims and Jews and they just didn't burn so bright, lack of pork in their diet probably, and an Emperor shouldn't be expected to risk tripping in the garden and getting his toga muddy.
Also something the greatest ruler of the largest Empire shouldn't do is commit suicide in the wrong way which is why i asked several of my friends to try it first, which they did but all that screaming and stabbing themselves and bleeding, there was a lot of bleeding, i decided i probably won't do it after all and went back home.  
With all of Rome baying for my blood i asked my secretary, Epaphroditos, to stab me when i wasn't expecting it and seconds later i was sprawled on the floor with a knife in my back.
My immortal words 'What an Artists dies in me' were true because a real Artist did die that day because if i say so myself, i really was one kick-ass Fiddler.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Elvis Presley

As well as making music i acted in 31 films and as an actor it was said i was a great singer but that wasn't always the case.
I got a C for music at school and in a singing contest at a country fair i came 5th so it could be taken as a lesson in not giving up your dream or as i prefer, thinking 'what do you know' to music teachers and country fair song judges because i went on to become so famous that i was called the King so f**k you, thank you very much.
As well as the films, i released 117 singles, 50 albums and have thousands of impersonators around the World but the greatest hit i am most remembered for is the one where i hit the floor in my bathroom.
There are more dignified ways to die than being found face down in the bathroom with your underpants around your ankles i admit and if i was given a choice it would be in bed surrounded by several buckets of fried chicken and a plate of banana, peanut butter and bacon sandwiches but as Old Shep found out, 'one day the doctor looked at me and said, I can do no more for him, Jim'.
Suspicious Minds was another one of mine and there have been a few of those regarding if it was actually me who was sprawled all over the toilet floor that day and the simple answer is of course it was, if i was going to plan my own death it would be dying saving orphans from a burning building or drowning whilst rescuing puppies, not dying form the exertion of trying to push one out.
Finally, on the subject of all those Elvis impersonators, why are the majority in my white rhinestone jumpsuit period when i was bloated and wheezy?    
Anyway, don't be lonesome tonight, I have now left the building

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: King George III

It may be a thing over there in America but the Revolutionary War is not so big in the UK but there has been so much propaganda about the whole thing.
Firstly i didn't give a flying fig about our colonies over there in America, they were all religious folk who i was quite happy to see the back of if i am being truthful with all their England is not Holy enough nonsense so i was all 'take it, run it into the ground, see if i care' but Parliament insisted that we send troops and i was all like 'yeah, whatever'. 
While all that was going on i was diagnosed as suffering from a mental illness called Old Loon, probably due to all the inbreeding amongst the Royalty (and there was a lot of inbreeding) so i was expected to make decisions of State but i didn't know if i would wake up thinking i was a Kangaroo or a Cockatiel.
One day i shook hands with a tree which i thought was the King of Prussia, but have you ever seen the King of Prussia, he looks like a tree and when it was gently explained to me that it wasn't him, i went around shaking hands with all the tree's and i was meeting him in a forest, we were there all day until i shook hands with a couple of pear tree's which turned out to be him and his wife.
When i was told by a giant Begonia in the garden that we had lost the American colonies i wasn't very upset, mostly because i had lost my keys that day and found them within the hour so a country shouldn't be that hard to find and I helpfully asked if they had looked down the back of the sofa.
My legacy is the King who lost America and admittedly i haven't been paying much attention since i died but from what i can gather all they have done with it is carve some big heads into the side of a mountain, invent Country and Western music and give everyone a gun in case us British ever invaded again.
If a country decided that 5 vowels is one vowel too many and drop the letter 'u' then i can't see them being much of a threat to the British Empire but as it was built by peace loving religious folk i'm sure it turned out okay but i am a bit concerned that the Old Loon tablets may need to be increased, i'm sure i just saw an orange beach ball balancing a bird nest on his top being declared American President.
Have to go, the King of Prussia needs pruning.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Che Guevera

If you go into any student flat you would probably see a poster of me on the wall in that famous pose with my beret, Lucy even has a mug with my face on it but as famous as that picture is, i never earned a cent from it.
Capitalist pig dogs have grown rich off my image and if i had earned just a small percentage of the merchandise sold then i could have stopped being a revolutionary and lived in comfort somewhere warm but that was against my whole ethos so i would never, ever accept sponsorship for money.
As i heard on my Sony CDX-GT424 radio that has amazing looks and great features which come together so you actually look forward to switching it on, i would never even consider receiving money for product placement.
As i draw on my Fratello Bianco Cigar which are made from a blend of the finest flu-cured golden Virginian, air-cured Burley and Oriental tobaccos for that mild taste, i contemplate just how money is at the root of all evil as i drove my Peugeot 307 1.6 (Peugeot are committed to leading the industry with style, flair and a relentless drive for aesthetic achievement) to the Asda Walmart supermarket where shoppers can buy top quality products at low, low prices such as the new BOSCH TAS4011 Coffee Maker which combines the great Tassimo system with Bosch's renowned looks and quality, and offers a world of flavour with perfect results every time.
Most evenings i switch off my affordable yet stylish Google Pixel 3ai mobile phone with its amazing 8 mega pixel camera and top tier security features and turn on my Panasonic TX-26LMD70A Television with V-Real technology, acclaimed for delivering outstanding image quality and think that the World is money mad and worse of all are the people who try to sneak in subliminal adverts when you least expect them.
Fight the power people, don't become a cog in the machinery of the capitalists!!

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Joan of Arc

I am a hero in France but ask any English person and they will say that all i did was pick up a sword, get caught and then set on fire but there was so much more to my story, apart from picking up a sword, getting caught and subsequently being burnt to death.
Firstly, the 100 year War was called the 75 year war when i was only 16 years old i was visited by Arch Angel Michael who said he was sent by God himself to tell me to lead the French against the English.
I did initially question why God had picked a 16 year old girl with no fighting experience when he had millions of battle hardened Frenchmen to pick from, but the Arch Angel just shrugged and said as most Frenchmen fought like 16 year girls anyway, same diff, and the whole virgin thing, God had a thing about virgins apparently.   
I rocked up at the King's Palace and declared: 'Your Majesty, i have been sent by God to lead the French army and defend France from the English' and rather than laugh and get me dragged away as a nutter, he put down his baguette, wiped his mouth on a small peasant child and said Okay then' and sent me to Orléans.
The 100 Year War was then just changing it's name to the 76 Year War (we had to change the name every year) when i began and things started off well, i won a few battles and after each victory i would praise God for keeping me in his favour and when i was captured by the English, i did the 'you better let me go because God will be pretty angry if you don't'.
I was sure God would save me somehow right up until when the English tied me up and set fire to my pyre i was thinking come on God, a big gust of wind or something, a little help here but nothing.
I found out later that we had won the war (The English fought like 15 year old girls as it turns out) and i did my bit to save France and since i have made my peace with the English although their joke about me giving my name to French Fries was only funny the first 30,000 times i heard it.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Kurt Cobain

 A mullato, an albino, a mosquito, my labido, what was i smoking when i wrote that particular chorus people often asked me? Pretty much everything i would reply which is why i had to check Wikipedia to see exactly what i did in my lifetime as the details are a bit hazy.
I was out of my face on drugs most of the time but they gave me the oomph i needed. Would i have written Smells like Teen Spirit without bucketloads of Heroin. Probably not and i wouldn't have decorated that upstairs room a dark shade of brain grey without it either but hey, swings and roundabouts.
People were always trying to get me to go to rehab centres but the problem wasn't getting me there, the issue was that the walls were not high enough for me not to skip over and then go stab myself with a massive syringe full of heroin.
What many people didn't understand was that the 'Unplugged' show we did was a cry for help, anyone could see that as i sat there singing the sings that i did that it was the actions of a man who was smashed out of his gourd when he came up with that set.
I did have a persona of being a bit of a grumpy one and it is true that i hated everything, i even sang a song called 'I Hate Myself and Want to Die' which with hindsight may have been another call for help but was just passed off as Kurt being Kurt, the miserable sod.
As with so many celebrities, dying early turned out to be a boon for my career and 25 years on i see teenagers wearing Nirvana t-shirts and calling my lyrics all about teen revolution and the meaning and meaninglessness, playing upon the juxtaposition of my contradictory lyrics and the conflict of two opposing ideas which sounds great but really, Teen Spirit was about nothing deeper than deodorant and the message a friend left me telling me i needed to buy deodorant because i stank. The greatest stroke of luck was that my friend never wrote Kurt needs Lynx as that's a tough one to make rhyme.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Blackbeard

The city of Bristol does not have a very long list of famous people that have emerged from within it's walls but you ask anyone to speak like a pirate and it's the very best Bristonian accent that chunders forth and that's thanks to me so if nothing else i gave the world that and the Jolly Roger flag.
Being a lazy bugger, and razors not being invented yet, i had a long, luxurious beard, hence the name, and i kept it black by setting fire to it which never really caught on amongst later generations.
Setting your beard on fire as you board another ship was a masterstroke, they would say if that guy is crazy enough to set his facial hair alight then i'm not going to argue with him but the problem was ships move slowly so i would get a decent blaze going and then watch slowly as the ship's came together by which time i was horribly burned, scalded and screaming in pain which only added to the madness but hurt like a bandit.
Over the few short years that i was pirating i got together an impressive pile of loot but as my gambling and drinking debts grew i hit upon the bright idea of shooting members of my crew to increase my share of the treasure.
Things were going well until i found the flaw in my plan and began running out of crew and my enemies boarded my ship and cut off my head and stuck it on top of their mast. Arrgh, that stung a bit me hearty.
Probably the only pirate who could rival me for infamy was Long John Silver and he wasn't even real but he has propagated the image of pirates having a parrot and a wooden leg but a little known fact was us Pirates had a strict Pirate Code we lived by.
This included every man would have a vote in affairs of the moment, all must receive an equal share of any treasure, no cards or dice for money, all lights and candles to be put out at eight o'clock at night, no woman allowed on board, no striking one another on board and no music on the Sabbath Day.
So we were not so bad after all then and the face moisturiser in the afterlife is to die for, literally.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: George Washington

I cannot tell a lie, well i can, but i became known for not lying which worked out well because i could swipe whatever i wanted and nobody would ever suspect me.
I was the very first President of the United States and to commemorate what a great bloke i was, i'm now on the dollar bill, have the Washington monument, the nations capital bares my name and someone carved a massive statue of my head into the side of a mountain.
The only problem i have with Mount Rushmore is that i have to share it with Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt
and while i have no problem with the first two, Theodore Roosevelt never freed slaves, took on the British or authored the Declaration of Independence, he gave his name to a soft toy and set up something called the Bull Moose Party, so you can you see why i wouldn't want to be sharing a mountain side for eternity with the weirdo.
As in the 18th century we were not that far removed from our British ancestors, i did help the Brits fight against the French in North America but then decided a year or two was long enough to then be far enough removed from our British ancestry and fought alongside them against the British in the War of Independence after the whole throwing the tea into the Boston river thing.
The battle that i am most proud of was the surprise attack i made on a British Barracks at Trenton which took place at Christmas where the British had been celebrating the Festivities and were as pickled as herrings when suddenly me and 2,400 of my buddies showed up with a present for them, a dirty great cannon. 
Because most of them was drunk and were either laying passed out on the ground or sitting around with the top button of their breeches undone after one too many platefuls of sprouts, we managed one of the easiest victories of the campaign and i even managed to get a few games of charades in with the General who was dressed at Santa Claus before carting his limey ass off.
Over time we have not only made peace with the British but America has grown and has gone from strength to strength in my vision of creating a nation for all men and women, where all are created equal regardless of race and colour.
Okay, so i goofed on those last two but i am proud of the part i played in making the land of the free and the home of the brave armed with semi-automatic weapons designed for military use, God Bless America.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Saint Nicholas

The last thing i want is to come across as grumpy, sure i appreciate the whole starting Christmas thing but in my lifetime i received a visit from the Virgin Mary herself, brought back to life dead children, calmed a storm at sea, saved innocent soldiers from execution and chopped down a demon possessed tree but mention the name Saint Nicholas and all i'm remembered for is throwing some coins into some prostitutes socks.
To make things even worse it led to the story of the jolly fat guy in the red suit who would replace my boss's kid as the face of Christmas and i'm not jolly or fat and wouldn't be seen dead in a red suit, i was always more of a grey smock guy.
At least the Beach Boys remembered me although at 5ft in my stockinged feet the 'Little Saint Nick' was a bit of a dig, you try clambering up on rooftops when your 5ft tall, not easy i tell you.
Anyway, at least i'm remembered all these years later, remember Saint Agathangels? Nope? There you go then, it's George, Valentine and me and i invented Christmas so that beats fighting dragons and zinging arrows into people butts.
As thanks for giving the World Santa, they made me the Patron Saint of Portsmouth and Liverpool for crying out loud. I know i'm a Saint with a hotline to the Big Guy but anyone who has been to either of those places know even i couldn't conjure up enough of a miracle for them, if i had known at the time i would have kept off the roofs and kept my coins in my pocket.
Still, enjoy the festive season that i gave you and remember me, the man who gave money to sex workers who then morphed into a fat guy with gout and high blood pressure who comes into your bedroom when your asleep and leaves you presents which isn't creepy at all.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Buddy Holly

Oh boy, i'm as excited as an excited man with a particularly exciting reason to be excited to be asked to write a few words here, lil' ole' me, the nerdy looking geek from Lubbock, Texas who gave Elvis Costello his look and was immortalised by the Song American Pie although why the good ole boys were drinking Whisky and Rye at the Levee in my memory i never understood, i was always more of a Sarsaparilla or a Grape Knee-High kinda fella.
Being the most famous of the three of us that died in the plane that day, i am the one usually most remembered for dying and we will never know just how my career would have panned out otherwise but if only i had brought an extra pair of underpants with me on that tour as we only hired the plane because of my constant bleating about having the wear the same pants and wanting to
find a laundrette.
That the Big Bopper and Richie Valens had to die because i wanted fresh undercrackers is a bit unfair but hey, didn't do me any harm, well, apart from the dying which could have put a serious kink in my career but even worse i didn't follow my mum's advice of making sure i had clean underwear on in case i had an accident.
Something i really need to tackle is the nonsense of a curse surrounding me for ignoring a warning given to my sound engineer by a gypsy which has been going on for years, just because of that plane crash.
Just because my replacement on the tour hanged himself and Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent who had both earlier pulled out of the tour were involved in a car crash which killed Cochrane and left Vincent without the use of one of his legs doesn't prove anything and just because the new singer that The Crickets brought in died in a plane crash, that could have happened to anyone.
That the sound engineer that received the warning committed suicide and the guy who played me in the 1977 film was involved in a near fatal motorcycle accident which left him with brain injuries and the films writer committed suicide shortly before the film's release is weak proof at best.
Del Shannon, after playing a concert at the Surf Ballroom Clear Lake, Iowa which was the location of my last performance Shannon shot himself but i really can't see how any of this can be linked to lil' ole' me.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Napoleon Bonaparte

Bonjour, je suis Napoleon, you may have heard of me, ze short, overweight guy with ze little hands but massive battle plans.
I may have been a teeny tiny little man but i was ze man who tried to make France great again and i would have done too if it wasn't for those meddling British.
True, people often mistook me for a child as i rode down ze Arc de Triumph saying 'oh look at that little boy’ and pat me on ze head and give me a chocolate bar and i am not complaining about that but it was a real pain trying to get served in ze Paris bars, often i would be sat in ze corner with an orange juice while my Generals got drunk.
Finally discovering that if i wore a really big hat i would be identified, everyone loved me as i romped around Europe invading countries and soon i could not walk around Paris without getting free croissants, garlic and berets, everyone except my wife Joséphine who was having an affair with someone called Hippolyte Charlie while i was away invading Italy and arresting ze Pope.
Ah, Joséphine, i wrote her letters pouring my heart out and imploring her to end zis torrid affair and come back to me and if being usurped in ze love stakes by someone with a name like Hippolyte is not embarrassing enough, ze hateful British intercepted my mail and published zem in ze Daily Chronicle. Les Enfoirés!
Anyway, i decided to divorce Joséphine and ze only person who could divorce us was ze Pope who i had arrested and transported to a French prison so that was a bit of an own goal but i was ze Emperor so i got someone else to do it. Viva la moi!
I did put forward a referendum which asked if i should be made ze Emporer for life and much to my joy i won convincingly although critics will say that the part on the voting form which said that you are free to vote how you want but ze first man to vote against Napoleon being leader for life will be shot helped.
It was all going so well until those damned letter printing British took ze hump because i tried to invade zem and caught me and exiled me first to Elba and then to St Helena.
So my legacy was for me, a teeny tiny man, to make France great and i did for a while although i do regret never having the chance to pass a law which said anyone with the first name of Hippolyte should have a pineapple shoved up their derrière on ze first of each month.   
Bon soir and thank you to Lucy for ze phone books i am sitting on so i can reach ze keyboard.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Osama Bin Laden

The last time anyone saw me i was slipping off the side of an American battleship with several holes in my head but while i admit that was a personal low-point, i didn't do too bad, i was the World's most famous man at one point.
When i think about it, and not trying to steal any thunder from John Lennon, i was probably more famous than that other middle eastern man with a beard who inspired millions and was killed by those occupying his lands, only with more TV cameras.
Regarding the Holy Jihad against the infidel west, it did kind of lose it's edge slightly, i was all for the murder and mayhem at first but it isn't much fun being the World's most famous man and spending my time stuck in a small cave with only Al Zawahiri for company, especially after beans for tea, and that man ate a lot of beans.
Things got to a point that i was searching through the Koran to see if there is some Sharia law loophole that means i could force him to sit outside but despite there being a rule for pretty much everything else, there was not one for dealing with excessive flatulence.
Although it was widely thought that i hated all things Western, us Al Queada types did have a lot of time for some American actors, i especially liked Mel Gibson and i asked him personally to appear in my next video release entitled "Those Fecking Jews" but we failed to agree on a price. Shame really because i felt we had a real connection.
Despite being dead, i do try my best to keep up with what is going on in the Great and Little Satan and with my reputation i am of course attracted to the religious right in both nations although i don't think any of the current leaders could come close to what Bush and i shared, sending other people to a pointless death.
On the whole i had a few good years but i wish we had a few more make up artists coming over to our side, looking back on those video's i really could have done with a someone giving me a beard trim and dye.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Jesus

I don't think it is beyond doubt that if i was alive today, i would be a lefty and probably knocking out some cabinets on the side so it has always been with amusement that it is the right wingers who have picked up the religion mantle.
The right are the hunters and capitalists and the ones most likely to be found in dad's house singing hymns about all things being bright and beautiful at the weekend.
Obviously, the whole idea of being a good church goer is to ensure that when you die, you can get through the pearly gates but considering what the Bible says about these matters, i think they may be disappointed, the Bible even has a nifty analogy regarding camels and needles to drive home the point about money.
Without doubt i was a lefty but in a bitter irony, the people i most identify with are the ones who avoid church while the ones who are most opposite the things i stood for are the ones trying to suck up to my dad and i.
There have been many wars and religious movements in my name but i am just like any other guy, i put my sandals on one foot at a time and it's a bit rich to blame me or my dad for what happens in our name, if you get sick from spoilt milk, don't blame the cow!
I never really had a lot of face time with my real dad, and my step dad wasn't really big on the father-son chats so i never really got the chat about girls and things. 
Joseph could tell you all you wanted to know about a dove-tail joint but when it came to how to talk to girls he would suddenly have to go to town to buy a hammer and my real dad would just tell me go stand on a hill and tell people not to covert their neighbours ass and to not forget to mention the meek.  
I did once ask him if he thought that my birth in Bethlehem all those years ago changed the world for the better and made it more peaceful but he just gazed off into the middle distance, stroked his beard and told me the spice rack i made was wonky.
So thank to all people who live by my example today, thank you for your continued support, i know you have plenty of other religions to choose from so it is appreciated.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Queen Victoria

Being the Queen of Great Britain i had access to all the very best of British things, the finest tea from India sweetened by sugar imported from the Caribbean and the best clothing made from American slave picked cotton and despite eight assassination attempts on my life, i am regarded as my nations most well loved Royal.
With this in mind i was chatting to George Washington on Lucy's sofa and he was saying how he has his nations capital city named after him, his picture on the money, his face on the side of a mountain yadda yadda yadda and all i have for being Great Britain's most beloved monarch is a Train Station. People go to his namesake to see the seat of power, they go to mine to catch the 9.30 to Dover.
I came to the throne early at 18 years old after my father and all three of older brothers died but nobody questioned it because in the 19th Century there were lots of diseases, plagues and rat poison slipped in cups of tea of elder relatives back then although my relatives did prove to be a bit of a sore point.
Apart from my husband Albert also being my cousin, World War One was sparked off by my grandchildren George of Britain, Wilhelm of Germany and Nicholas of Russia so apart from the 17 million dead and the 70 million in the resulting 2nd World War, it also made Christmas family gatherings very awkward.
Something i must mention is the buttoned up, Victorian morals that i represented and imparted onto the nation during my reign.
My cousin/husband died when i was only 42, after 9 children and 11 short years of marriage, and it was said i then plunged into deep mourning but truth is i was horny as hell and i thought if i can't have it and i'm the bloody Queen then i don't want the filthy commoners to have it so i made it so nobody could indulge.
I am glad that my legacy is the best of British which is not bad for a girl with Saxon parents given a Latin name and who married a German.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Fred Trump

If there is one thing i get tired of hearing is that when it comes to Little Donny and me, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree which is terrible as my son and i couldn't be any further apart.
He lies but i was as honest as the day is long although my saying i was the son of a Swedish immigrant who turned out to be German was a sales manoeuvre, i was trying to buy some land from some Swedes so wanted them to feel i was one of them, dang, in my time i've pretended to be Japanese, Chinese and one time i was even a 17 year old peasant girl from Estonia which wasn't easy considering i had a moustache like a particularly hairy walrus.
Turning to the accusations of racism against my little Donny, he never got that from me because i was as anti-racist as the next guy, the pity was the guy i was stood next to was the Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan at a meeting where i was busted for wearing Klan costume and dancing around a burning cross and inciting a riot.  
The part in the agreement with the estate agency renting out the shoddy apartments that read 'not to rent to blacks' and to 'decrease the number of black tenants by encouraging them to locate housing elsewhere' was just an unfortunate typo.
Finally, i was a businessman and like my rotund offspring, we sometimes had to bend the rules a little to get what we wanted and what i really wanted was to spirit away $3.5 of Government money, they called it illegal profiteering and stealing money from the state, i called it fraud and tax evasion, but you say tomato, i say tuck this away out of sight of the IRS Donny.    
So hopefully i have proved i'm not a racist or liar who partook in stealing money from others and i am as clean as the next man, just that the man happens to be my very own little, chubby Donny.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Winston Churchill

Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed to so many by so few, especially me because while men were being ordered to run at German machine guns, i was 50ft underground in a bomb proof bunker with enough alcohol to sink a battleship.
I did occasionally pop my head up to make a speech and say we will never surrender whatever the Germans threw at us before nipping back downstairs sharpish but there were some days when i was just to pissed to make it up the stairs safely so we would dress up a bulldog, put a hat on it, shove a cigar in it's mouth and send that up instead.
Considering that i wasn't sober anytime after 1940, i didn't do too bad    and i was made an Honorary American for my services during the war, considering they amounted to being the safest person in England while people dug themselves out of their own houses i decided to keep that bit quiet.
I was even voted 'Greatest Britain', and i did have a great reputation, mainly because as i said 'History will be kind to me as i intend to write it' and though i did call the many wars fought in the name of empire as: 'a lot of jolly little wars against barbarous peoples' who doesn't like a bit of war, i certainly did, especially against the Indians who pathetically screamed 'aaaaah I’m dying', rather than giving thanks for being starved to death on the orders of someone who would later save our nation, so it’s hard to have any sympathy.
By todays standards i suppose i could be a tad racist but i know many who wish they could have been black in 1920, just so they could have had the honour of being racially abused by the greatest Britain that ever lived so maybe the shameful youth with their lack of respect for our steadfast British spirit, instead of being drunk, obnoxious, smoking and being obese, they should be more like me.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Buddha

When i was asked to write a guest posting on Lucy's blog i considered taking the opportunity to pass on my wisdom on the core of Buddhism and the belief in the Four Noble Truths of Suffering, the Cause of Suffering, the End of Suffering and the Path that Leads to the End of Suffering but after giving it some serious contemplation under another Bodhi tree, i thought stuff it and decided to write about the two things that really grind my gears.
First up is my image of me being a fat, bald guy whereas in reality i was seriously buff. Honestly, i could be found wandering around 6BC India all bulging biceps and a pair of firm, toned buttocks that would crack walnuts.
Not sure how i ended up being pictured as a baby faced chubster unless they got me confused with someone else, Muhammad possibly, he was always first in line for a feast and getting the waistband of his jubbah's let out.  
The second thing is that i quite clearly said that i could live for an eon or until the end of the eon, if i was asked to do so and i said it many times but not one person asked me, for cripes sake guys, i wasn't being mysterious or being rhetorical, it was as plain as the trunk on Garnesh's face that i was crying out for somebody to just ask me.
Instead of dying in a billion years, i popped my clogs at 80 years old and my last words were reminding the people gathered around me that they only needed to ask but a waste of a last breath that was, so i missed out on everything after 6BC so cheers, seriously, appreciate it that nobody could be bothered to ask me, yeah, big thanks for that. 
So i am adding to my four truths and the fifth is i was a ripped hunk of a man and the sixth if somebody tells you that they can live for eons if you ask them to, for crying out loud just ask them!

Friday, 2 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Abraham Lincoln

Although i become known as Honest Abe, the truth is i would pilfer all the White House toilet rolls, i had cupboards full of stuff with Property of the White House stamped across it, it was half the reason that i wore a big hat, perfect place to stick rolls of bog rolls which i would sell on the black market.
The other reason i wore a really tall stovepipe hat, despite being almost six and a half feet tall, was because Ismbard Kingdom Brunel wore one and i wanted a hat that i could write 'Make America Proclaim Emancipation Again' on it.
The hat did make me stand out in the crowd though which probably made John Wilkes Booth's job a lot easier, not hard to miss a 6ft 4" man sat with a chimney on his head even in a dark theatre. 
Strangely, on that night of my shooting i told Mary i didn't really want to go and see a play, 'need that like a hole in the head' i said although my joke about being like an 80s sitcom and being shot before a live audience always makes Jesus laugh, JFK not so much. 
I was always a bit of a joker although something i am serious about is the effects of excessive drinking, something which killed my mother.
You see my mother had an addiction, she would drink milk by the bucketful and despite our plea's and the funny white moustache she almost permanently wore, she carried on with the demon milk until it killed her, milk sickness the docs called it, i could never look at a cow again afterwards.
I am ever grateful for the Bill & Ted film for giving me some catchphrases, 'Be excellent to each other' and 'Party on Dudes' which is much more catchier than 'four score and seven years ago' which nobody can ever work out.
I am held up as one of the greatest President the USA ever had which is why the current President is always saying 'What would Abe Lincoln do to make America Great if he was me'.   
I have lost count of the amount of times i had replied 'go to the theater in a really tall hat' but he hasn't yet.
Anyway, Party On Dudes!! Oh, and i have 300 rolls of White House toilet paper if anybody is interested.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Special Guest Blogger: Grigori Rasputin

Any fans of 70's DISCO will know that i was the lover of the Russian Queen but something which Boney M didn't really capture was that i was an early 20th Century babe magnet which considering i looked like a donkey which had been hit very hard in the face with a house brick, was no mean feat.
My story begins when i passing myself off as a mystic and faith healer to get chicks and the Russian Queen heard about my magical touch and hired me to heal her son who was ill, the boy was so ill he almost died following a bumpy coach ride, true story, the kid was permanently ill and was puking up all over the palace and chucking up all in the Kings slippers just after taking his medicine, so i tell the doctors to stop giving him his tablets, mumbled something in Latin and waved my arms around like a maniac, and he stopped upchucking.
Suddenly i was the best thing since potatoes (well it was Russia) and the Queen was so grateful that she allowed me to not only lay hands on her son, but lay them all over her as well, which i did, several times a week.
Sweet deal, the Tsar found out but couldn't stop me from ploughing his wife because if i was taken out his son would die but he got so angry after hearing me being called Russia's greatest love machine once to many times through the bedroom wall, he ordered me be killed.
The first attempt was a woman stabbed me in the stomach several times while i was preparing to give her a Russian Queen special but i managed to escape and then in an eventful evening a few nights later, while recuperating, i was invited to a friends house who poisoned my meal but i actually felt okay afterwards.
Taking the hint that i might not be as welcome as i first thought, i tried to make my excuses and leave but someone pulled out a gun and shot me.
As i stood there with a bandaged stomach, poison flowing through my body and now several gun shot wounds, i thought, actually, i don't feel too bad but i was determined to leave so i jumped out of the second story window.
As i lay on the ground winded and with several broken bones i thought, blimey, i feel okay but as i was getting up the 'friend' arrived and shot me again and after i started to think, holy crap, maybe i'm invincible after all, he hit me repeatedly over the head with his shoe until i unconscious, rolled me up in a carpet and lobbed me off a bridge. 
Of course karma came in to play and the Tsar and his family were all wiped out by revolting Russians a year later (Nicolas killed by a single bullet the pussy) but i got the last laugh because i'm remembered as the almost unkillable Terminator like Love Machine and what's not to like about that!!

Monday, 29 July 2019

Earth Overshoot Day

Today is Earth Overshoot Day which means as of July 29, we have used up more ecological resources this year than the Earth can regenerate by the end of the year.
Humanity is currently consuming nature 1.75 times faster than the planet can regenerate and despite all the efforts of the Environmentalists, the date has moved forward by two months over the past 20 years with July 29 marking the earliest the date has ever been.
The United Nations have released a report, saying that humanity's pace of environmental destruction could endanger the ecological foundations of society and creating a global health emergency leading to millions of deaths from air pollution and water pollution.
Seems no matter how many warnings they get, how much extreme weather they see or how much scientific evidence is thrown at them,  the people in power who could actually do something about the damage we are inflicting to the planet and ourselves, are just too selfish and moronic to do anything about it.

Boris Cabinet Working Well

We can finally get to see the new cabinet and it contains four former members who Theresa May sacked for lying, leaking or in some cases both.
New Home Secretary, Priti Patel, was sacked for holding secret meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu about arms deals and denying it and Gavin Williamson was sacked for leaking details of a highly secret meeting and Dominic Cummings was recently found in contempt of parliament for lying about, and then refusing to explain his role in the Brexit campaign and we have Boris Johnson himself who lies like most people breathe, was relieved of his duties twice, sacked from The Times for fabricating an article and dismissed from the Tory Party for lying about an extra-marital affair.
As some of the of the prominent posts have not just gone to normal lying and leaking politicians, but to people who have been sacked for lying and leaking, you can guess what happened today after the first Cabinet meeting.
Despite being warned that they will be fired if any cabinet business is leaked to the press, the warning itself was immediately leaked to the Telegraph.
You can't make it up, or rather, as we have found out, they can and do and then leak it to the media.

While I'm Away On Holiday

Another academic year over and i have 6 weeks spread out in front of me with no work to drag myself to every morning so i have a few choices.
I could go out and do something constructive or i could ponce off abroad somewhere on holiday, drink cocktails by a swimming pool and talk to foreign people very loudly and very slowly in English so they understand.
Poncing off it is then and as i am away for most of August i have lined up some very special guest bloggers to keep the blog ticking over while i'm off doing the tourist thing and when i say special, i mean very special as in some of the biggest names in history including Kings and Queens, Presidents, legendary musicians and some of the greatest thinkers of our time.
What with them all being dead and some in the ground for centuries, i dread to think how the time has changed them but i have left them with instructions to write of their achievements and how they view them now and to water the umbrella plant.
If Boris Johnson hasn't sunk Great Britain by the end of August i will return ready to field the complaints that are bound to arise and clear up the mess that 30 long dead men and women leave on my computer chair.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

What Small Teeth You Have Grandma

Humans have had a pretty good run of things and as we haven't actually been around that long in the scheme of things for evolution to change us that much, as time goes on just what has evolution got in store for us?
Over the next 200,000 years, assuming that civilisation still exists then and we haven't blown our stupid selves to smithereens by then, scientists have come up with a list of just how evolution will affect us.
First up is larger skulls as Cesarean Sections become more common place, allowing children with larger heads to be born whereas previously large headed children died or suffered brain damage during childbirth.
As we no longer need 5 toes to grip things unlike our tree dwelling ancestors, we will lose a toe and become a 4 toed creature and the process is underway as toes are shrinking as are teeth which have halved in size over the last 100,000 years due to changes in the shape of our jaws.
Hair loss has been ongoing since we first climbed down from the trees and scientists expect that to continue but as our hair fell out we grew, gaining 10cm in the last 150 years alone due to better diets although we have been growing steadily weaker as we develop machinery to do the physically demanding (and strength enhancing) jobs that we once performed.
So as we are heading towards a future with four toed humans with smaller teeth, bigger and balder heads and physically feeble bodies, all i can say is that i don't fancy yours much. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

The New Prime Minster

Just as you think things can't get any worse, the Conservative Party go and vote in Boris Johnson to be their leader and therefore the Prime Minister.
That Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, or just Boris Johnson to his friends, has been sacked from jobs twice for lying and has a history of racism, homophobia and whilst Foreign Secretary , managed to get a woman's prison term increased whilst trying to get her freed, the Conservative Party members have decided that the man who Theresa May didn't trust with secret information is the best man to run the country.
He has been called Donald Trump with a thesaurus and with his racist views, stupid hair, serial lying and extra marital affairs they do seem very similar and scarily, he will very well soon be making decisions which effect us all but with the Orange moron in the White House and an absolute idiot in Downing Street, this truly is a golden time for comedians and journalists.
I can already hear the fun being poked at his willingness to look like an unmade bed and his firing from The Times for making up stories and his view that same sex marriage is 'ludicrous'.
The coals are being raked over his many extra-marital affairs, especially the public one with his fellow Spectator columnist Petronella Wyatt, resulting in two terminated pregnancies and then the affair with the Times Higher Education Supplement journalist Anna Fazackerley and then yet another dalliance with Helen Macintyre and fathering her child.   
Already four MP's have resigned, stating that they couldn't be in a Cabinet run by Johnson so as we wait for the delivery van to bring his big red nose, an enormous pair of shoes and a squirty flower, start stockpiling.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Trump Not Racist, He Just Hates Non-Whites

Kinda funny that Donald Trump should tell four non white females to go home to their inept and crime ridden countries when three of them were born in America and the other is an American citizen so they are at home in his inept and crime ridden country so a bit of an own goal there from the man who, when it comes to racism, has foregone the dog whistle and now just yells it through a megaphone.
After his latest bit of casual racism, he did say that he doesn't have a racist bone in his body which is as absurd as, well, Donald Trump saying he doesn't have a racist bone in his body despite all the evidence that not only is it in his bones but is in his blood, sinews and vast amounts of blubber also.
The dead cat strategy, if it is a strategy and not just the baboon shooting off his racist mouth as usual, would be directed at distracting everyone from the awful situation in the immigration camps on the southern border and the uncomfortable links to Jeffrey Epstein and the video of them perving over girls and that quote that 'He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side' which takes on a whole new sinister tone when you consider that he is charged with underage sex trafficking and sex abuse of minors and Trump is a self-confessed sex offender.
Despite his denials of racism, if i was a lawyer i would be telling him the evidence is such that he should settle out of court, not something totally alien to him after all, and to be a bit more subtle in trying to persuade his equally moronic supporters that in 18 months time they should be voting for the white guy, well, the orange one anyway.
I'm just glad nobody told him he should be returning to the place of his parents birth because his mum was British and we don't want him here, we got enough right wing racists here already thanks.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Reasons For A Reducing IQ

There are a number of different ways of measuring intelligence but the most widely accepted method is by measuring a person's 'intelligence quotient' or IQ which is a series of tests which assess mathematical, spatial, verbal, logic and memory.
The average IQ is between 90 and 110 and in the World Rankings Hong Kong and Singapore are top with an average of 108, the UK is joint 7th with an average of 100, Canada and Germany joint 8th with 99, Australia, France, USA and Spain joint 9th with 98 while poor old Equatorial Guinea are bottom with an average of just 59.
Over the last 100 years our IQ scores have been steadily increasing but the trend is slowing and scientists are expecting it to start falling back which means that our generation could be the peak of human intelligence.
Our brains have stayed the same size over the last 70,000 years and IQ's most improved over the last 100 years at a rate of around three points a decade with improvements in the environment, health and education standards.
However since the mid-90s, the average IQ dropped by around 0.2 points a year and science is struggling to find a reason behind it but i have a suggestion, technology which most came to the fore around the time the IQ began to drop.
Calculators do the maths for us, we no longer have to know our times tables or work out percentages and i have seen a scary drop in spelling amongst the upcoming generations once spellcheck is taken away.
Where once we had to commit to memory all sorts of facts and figures, we now have Google at our fingertips so why bother to take the time and effort to dates and events when it is quicker and easier to tap it into a search engine.
As less people now read books and newspapers, reading skills will almost certainly be the next big area to dip but of course technology is always going to be with us so what does it matter as long as we have a calculator, a search engine and spellcheck and that is fine but it is the times when you don't have these to hand you will be found wanting.
It may be just a coincidence that the mid-90s was when technology with computers and mobile phones really took off while IQ scores began to fall away but someone with a much higher IQ than me may want to look for a correlation there.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Reading With Your Ears

I have only once listened to an audio book, i seem to recall it was narrated by James Marsters who played Spike in Buffy, and although it was pleasant enough, it just didn't seem right that i wasn't reading the words for myself.
Obviously i am in a dwindling minority as sales of audiobooks rose by 43% in 2018 while printed book sales fell by 5% so it could be the days are numbered for those of us who like the look and feel of a real, physical book in our hands.
I did convert to a Kindle a long time ago, mainly because my burgeoning bookcase collection was beginning to take up too much room, but i can't see me taking the step towards audio books, or reading with your ears as i have charmingly heard it referred to.
I'm not sure if it is a younger people thing but there is a steep increase in students facing exams recording themselves speaking the important parts from text books and listening to it continuously and there are scientific studies that suggest that recall is better after reading printed text but it is whatever works for you and hearing something continuously is sure to get it lodged firmly into your memory, or at least long enough to get you through the exam after which you can then replace it with the lyrics from  Ed Sheeran's greatest hits.
My problem seemed to be with audiobooks is that when i read a book, i imagine to voice of the speaker in my head, their accent, tone and inflection so as nice as listening to James Marsters is, the interpretation of all these things is his and not mine and with his American accent, listening to him read something by Dickens or Shakespeare would send me into a spin.
The UK’s leading audiobook retailer, Audible, sold more than 3bn hours of downloads last year so audiobooks are certainly becoming a thing but my second problem with them is that unlike music, you can't multitask while listening to a story being read to you.
It can't be the preference of time pressed book lovers if you have to concentrate on the words being read because you are not really gaining anything if you have to still stop and listen than if you had to stop, sit down and read a book.
As Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol 'I'll have to be loyal to the old ways and die out with them if needs must' mostly out of loyalty for the traditions of the physical act of reading a book and also because an m4a file will never be as pleasing to see as a dog-earred, well thumbed copy of a beloved classic on your bookshelf.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Sperm Crisis

Not that i keep count of these things but apparently we are in the grips of a sperm crisis, who knew?
The NHS have said that one in seven British couples have difficulty conceiving and in 40% of cases, the problem lies with the man and it isn't getting any better as there is a decline in fertility rates among western men with sperm count in men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand had dropped by 59.3% since 1973 but nobody in a white coat and holding a test tube
knows what is causing it.
Theories thrust forward are exposure to phthalates in plastics, exposure to common chemicals, decreased genital size in boys, hormone-altering chemicals, oestrogen in the water supply, industrial pesticides, diet, drugs, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol or stress and one brilliant crackpot conspiracy theorists who puts it down to a feminist plot to emasculate and eliminate the western male.
Allan Pacey, a professor of andrology at the University of Sheffield is hoping to push drooping male fertility higher up the political and healthcare agenda and urges men to optimise their sperm count, whatever that entails, but maybe it should be considered especially if it isn't hard, but then, that seems to be the problem.

A Small Step For Moon Landing Conspiracy Theorists

As we approach 50 years since man first walked on the moon, there are a lot of programmes coming on soon about the Apollo 11 mission and how human beings took their first step onto another ball of rock which wasn't the Earth, or did they because there are plenty of people out there who think the whole thing was faked.
Despite the evidence including 382kg of moon rock and images from the Nasa Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showing the tracks made by the astronauts in the moon dust, the conspiracy theorists refuse to accept it as one guest explained on ITV's This Morning that: 'no one could have walked on the moon as the moon is made of light'.
So with the bar not set very high, the non-believers point to such things a lack of a blast crater under the landing module, the way the shadows fall, a lack of stars in the pictures and the technology just not being available in 1969. 
In  a poll, 6% of Brits and 20% of Americans believe that the landings were faked, probably created in a movie studio in the desert somewhere and if you are one of those you may not want to get within reach of Buzz Aldrin who punched a moon conspiracist but with several nations racing to go back to the moon with 2024 pencilled in, the theorists may have to pause for thought when we get there and send video back of man stood on the moon.
Strangely i have never heard of a conspiracy theory that Yuri Gagarin ever made it into space and it is a small step for mankind to go from orbiting the Earth to making a landing, by all accounts only just, on another traveller around the Sun but while the moon landing conspirators are mostly harmless, there are some out there spreading far worse but equally ludicrous theories.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Keeping Robinson Away From Society

If you are told by the police to stop doing something, but you carry on and then are handed a suspended sentence by the court but then still carry on, you can fully expect the next time you appear infront of the judge you will be spending time at her Majesty's pleasure which is exactly what has happened to Stephen Yaxley-Lennon or Tommy Robinson as he calls himself.
As had previously been handed a suspended sentence for 'contempt of court' and 'interfering with a trial' after live-streaming at a court case in Canterbury 2017, he then went on to do it again in 2018 during a black out of reporting restrictions and the publication of any details until the end of a series of linked trials involving 29 defendants.
Amidst scuffles amongst Yaxley-Lennon supporters and police after he was handed a 9 month jail sentence, the call was that he had been imprisoned for some sort of 'free speech' infringement and Robinson wore a 'convicted for journalism' t-shirt with 'Britain = North Korea' on the back.
Far right EDL leader and sun bed shop owner Robinson said on Monday that he had sought political asylum in the United States, claiming that he feared for his life as 'dark forces are at work' in his home country which is true but they are right wing morons which are claiming he is a victim of oppression and that he is some sort of political prisoner.  
That he had the abhorrent Katie Hopkins in court supporting him and he has appealed to the appalling Donald Trump to save him shows just what a murky and racist pool he swims in so jail is the best place for him, safely away from society and not pretending to be a journalist.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

UK Ambassadors Truthful Words

The most surprising thing about the row that has broken out over the British Ambassadors assessment of Donald Trump and his Government as inept, incompetent and insecure is that anybody who has been paying attention is surprised.
An Ambassadors role is give their Government an honest assessment of the leadership of whatever country they happen to be in and if he had said anything other than what a mess the American leadership is, then nobody would have believed him.
I imagine the American Ambassador is feeding back to his Government what an absolute shower are running Britain the only difference is that Sir Kim Darroch's words have been made public.
Donald Trump's orange tinged skin is so thin that he has taken umbrage at being called damaging and dismissing his claim over the aborted Iran attack while saying that his Government will never look competent or normal, is dysfunctional and diplomatically clumsy have obviously hit home because Trump has come out shaking his tiny fists and stamping his feet.
Not only has he hit back at Darroch in the usual childish manner but he has also had a swing at Theresa May therefore confirming Trump's colossal moronic nature.
I think the ambassador’s comments let him off lightly if anything but i guarantee that the Americans Ambassadors words back to his Government concerning Theresa Mays leadership and any upcoming Boris Johnson Government is just as damning. 

Sunday, 7 July 2019

The Brat Pack

Unexpected bonus on TV last night with the ever excellent Breakfast Club showing, the film where five students are put in Saturday detention and are told to write an essay telling who they think we are are deciding they are a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal which i admit isn't selling it very well but it is an amazingly great film.
'Don't you forget about me' by Simple Minds will forever be linked with the film which is in turn forever linked with me by way of being released in 1985 which is the year that i left school and watched it with a bunch of friends who i never really saw again after that day.
What the film is most famous for is starring the Brat Pack actors, a group of eight who starred in either The Breakfast Club or St. Elmo’s Fire but never really hit such heady heights again.
Andrew McCarthy (Kevin - St. Elmo's Fire) turned up in Mannequin, Weekend at Bernie's, Pretty in Pink as well as St. Elmo's Fire and moved into TV work before directing while my favourite Judd Nelson (Alec St Elmo's Fire and the Criminal in Breakfast Club) has been on TV but not in much that i have seen.
Emilio Estevez (Alec St. in Elmos Fire and the athlete in Breakfast Club) made a few films such as The Mighty Ducks but become more famous for being Charlie Sheen's brother and being married briefly to singer Paula Abdul has now semi-retired from acting and directs.
Rob Lowe (Billy St. Elmo's Fire) is currently starring as a policeman in the British TV show Wild Bill but his career took a massive knock back when he filmed himself having sex with a 16-year-old girl, and the tape became public and it never really got back on track.
Demi Moore (Jules St. Elmo's Fire) famously married Bruce Willis and is the most successful of the Brat Pack actors, starring in some big name films while Molly Ringwald (the princess in Breakfast Club) got married, gave it all up and moved to France and Ally Sheedy (Leslie in St. Elmo's Fire and
the basket vase in Breakfast Club) struggled with bulimia and became addicted to sleeping pills.
Anthony Michael Hall (The brain in Breakfast Club) struggled with alcohol and was on many front pages for drunken brawling and although with the exception of Demi Moore, none really went on to bigger and better things.
The geek, the popular girl, the waster, the sports star and the cooky one who spent a Saturday in detention remains one of my favourite films ever, mainly because as a 16 year old girl at the time, all were all real life characters that we all come across during our time at school and had befriended, hated, avoided or in some way had crossed paths with.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Arsenal Fans Looking At Our Calendars Mournfully

It's that time of the year when i fear for my Arsenal Calendar because the transfer season has started and before the year is out i could have other teams players on my wall telling me what day of the month it is.
Aaron Ramsey (January) has already gone and will be sitting out injured at Juventus's Allianz Stadium from August onwards but i still have Mesut Ozil (July), Laurent Koscielny (October) and Lucas Torreira (December) are all rumoured to be wanted elsewhere and while i would willingly accept the disruption to my 2019 calendar to see the back of Ozil, i don't want Bayer Leverkusen and
AC Milan players looking back at me from the kitchen wall over Halloween and Christmas.
I will have to do what i did last year and cut out the head of any new signings from the newspaper to cover them up but it isn't very aesthetically pleasing although i would quite enjoy seeing Wilfred Zaha on my wall in an Arsenal kit, so much so i might sacrifice Torreira or Koscielny for him even if they stay at the Emirates.
What is even worse if when players leave in the January transfer window because that's your calendar screwed while it still smells of the cellophane wrapper it came in but if ever a team needed to bring in new players it's Arsenal but with a reduced transfer budget this summer they will have to sell some to bring in others so us Arsenal fans could be waving goodbye to quite a few of our favourites, oh and also Mesut Ozil.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Johnson's Sugar Tax U-Turn

Whenever an politician makes a drastic u-turn on a policy you do have to wonder why and the golden rule is to look at who is funding them and so we have Boris Johnson who said in 2015 that 'We have more obese adults than we have normally proportioned human beings and that is a quite extraordinary state of affairs. It’s a massive health risk' and 'That’s why I’m thinking about sugar taxes and whether London should be leading on that' before adding 10p to the cost of a soft drink.
Now in 2019, on the same day that Cancer Research UK launched a campaign saying obesity causes more of some cancers than smoking and and with the Health Minister planning to strengthen the obesity strategy, Johnson now says he wants to curb the sugar tax and to take 'a proper look at the continuing creep of the nanny state'.
Strange how he can swing through 180 degrees but maybe we can have a look at who is running his campaign, Lynton Crosby who just happens to run a firm, Crosby Textor Fullbrook Partners, who lobby in Australia on behalf of a soft drinks company that contains even more sugar than Coca-Cola.
Possibly it is all a massive coincidence and the £23,000 that Johnson also received in donations from CTF Partners has nothing to do with the sudden reversal in policy.
As we also found out today that Theresa May kept back sensitive information from him when he was Foreign Secretary as she couldn't trust him with it, the 150,000 Conservative members who get to vote the next Prime Minister into Office have a decision to make, vote for Johnson and his naked money grabbing who the PM didn't even trust or Hunt who oversaw the worst NHS crisis in modern times.

History Lessons From A Stable Genius

In a tweet which has been liked more than 5,600 times, Patricia A Valenti-R said of Donald Trumps
Independence Day address: 'The history lesson was superb since most young people today have no clue about our real history.'
Damn straight young people don't, not one of them could have told you before Trump spoke that Revolutionary Army soldiers 'took over airports' in 1775.
They just don't teach this sort of thing in American school's but there should be pride in America that due to the American soldiers and their bravery, there was not a single British aircraft in the skies above America during until the 20th Century.
History books show that by the end of the war, not a single airport on the continent of North America was under British control which was strategically important during the Revolution.
You have to ask just why have historians have been ignoring all this for centuries?

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Hey Big Spender

Seems that while Theresa May said she never had a magic money tree whenever her austerity measures were mentioned, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson have found a whole magic money forest because they are promising to spend, spend, spend if they are elected Prime Minister.
As his waistline proves, Boris Johnson is a big fan of having his cake and eating it and he will not only cut taxes for the highest earners but reverse education cuts and pour billions of pounds into schools, put 20,000 extra police on the streets and withdraw the 'sin taxes' on salty, sugary and fatty foods, pay rises for the public service.
Jeremy Hunt, apart from lifting the ban on fox hunting, has promised to cut National Insurance Contributions, cut corporation tax and increase defence spending to 4%.
As both are are currently trying to outdo each other over who is the most likely to go with a no-deal Brexit which will blow a massive hole in the British economy, the plans to spend more money while bringing in less is not sound fiscal responsibility and i am speaking as someone who's pension plans are based solely on winning the lottery before i'm 67.
Still, austerity is over obviously.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

That Alex Morgan Celebration

There can be no complaints about the USA beating England in the Women's World Cup Semi-Final last night, the best team by far won and they will probably go on to beat Sewden or Netherlands in the final but there has been some speculation over that Alex Morgan celebration.
When i saw her i first thought she was smoking a cigarette or puffing on a spliff which i thought was a bit inappropriate but i later found out she was mimicking drinking a cup of tea.
Seems obvious once you are told, us English do enjoy partaking of a cup of Rosy and i'm sure that had Steph Houghton decided to shoot and not just pass that penalty to the goalkeeper we may have been treated to her mimicking stuffing a supersized Cheeseburger into her gob but we will never know because she fluffed it.
Something which did become obvious about Alex Morgan though is that she isn't a tea drinker if that mime is anything to go by.
In the photographs she appears to be putting the handle to her lips, when surely it should be off to the side and tilted slightly.
Then again she might well have been smoking a doobie and it was a nod not towards us English as we thought but for the Dutch who they expect to meet in the final on Sunday.
The Netherland striker, Vivianne Miedema, better start practising her shooting things celebration just in case.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Don't Panic Yet

In memory of the largest Asteroid to break through the Earth's atmosphere in modern times over Tunguska in Russia in 1908, today is National Asteroid Day and the United Nations celebrated it by naming four Asteroids careening towards Earth because nothing allays fears of the human race being extinguished like giving us the dates when it might happen.
First up is 1979 XB, almost five times larger than the 190 metre wide Tunguska Asteroid, currently hurtling through the solar system at nearly 70,000kph and current projections have it approaching close to Earth in 2024.
If 1979 XB misses us we only have to wait another five years for the next apocalypse because the 370 meter Apophis is blazing past our planet in 2029 less than a tenth of the distance to the Moon.
The 50 meter 2000 SG344 is predicted to turn up in our skies between 2039 and 2049 and next up is 2010 RF12 which is top of the ESA danger list travelling at a speed of 117,935kph but luckily is only 7 meters across and although it will have devastating consequences if it hits a major city when it comes in 2090, it is expected to be crushed by the Earth's atmosphere before it reaches the ground,
they hope anyway.
Of course any change in the trajectory of any of the Asteroids will send them pinging off away from us but a big part of the danger with hazardous space objects is that we are not yet very good at detecting them and usually don't even know they are there until they are barrelling towards us.
Still, the United Nations and people in white with telescopes are on it so nothing to worry about.

Boris And His Deep Sense Of Anguish Isn't Enough

Boris Johnson has said that he feels a 'deep sense of anguish' for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian mother jailed in Tehran on spying charges, but he has rejected any responsibility for her continuing plight.
The Conservative leadership contender faced criticism when, as foreign secretary, he incorrectly stated to a select committee that she was 'teaching people journalism' in Iran despite her claim that she was just visiting family.
Mr Johnson's comments were then seized on by the Tehran regime, as they had jailed her for "teaching a BBC Persian online journalism course which was aimed at training people to spread propaganda against Iran", retried her with Boris Johnson's comments as evidence against her and increased her sentence.
Although Johnson denies responsibility, former Tory Party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin said Johnson 'has not helped the case' while her employer, Thomson Reuters Foundation, called on Johnson to 'correct the serious mistake he made' and her husband said that Johnson's comments had 'very traumatic consequences for her as they were used to discredit her and justify a further trial'.
At best he hadn't even bothered to read his brief when he was appearing in front of the select committee and left the woman languishing in an Iranian jail or at worst he was careless but either way, a deep sense of anguish is the absolute minimum he should be feeling as he is directly responsible for her increased sentence.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Becoming The US President

According to the US Constitution, a Presidential candidate must be a natural born citizen of the United States, a resident for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older although being male and white also seems to help but where the UK Elections is all done and dusted within 10 weeks, the run for the 2020 American Election has begun already with 20 Democratic candidates holding the first debates and Donald Trump has launched his (hopefully unsuccessful) re-election bid.
Most candidates running for office usually have a background in politics and have held an elected position, like senator, governor, vice-president, or member of Congress and most modern candidates hold university degrees and over half the former US Presidents graduated in law.
The US has never elected a non-Christian or a woman and only one President, Barack Obama, has not been white.
Becoming President - or even trying to be - can be eye-wateringly expensive. The ability to raise funds from your supporters, or spend your own cash, is of the utmost importance as the 2016 election cost a combined £1.8bn according to campaign finance watchdog OpenSecrets.org.
You need to be in one of the main two parties of either the Democrats or the Republicans but even winning the most votes might not ensure you get to place yourself in Donald Trump's reinforced chairs butt groove because Al Gore in 2000 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 gained the most votes but found themselves watching someone else go by in the Presidential Limo.
There are far too many Democrats to even consider looking at them just yet so we will let them be whittled down and anyway we have our own Government to worry about and if, as expected its Boris Johnson, we could well be America's 51st State by then so we will get a vote anyway.

It's Tricky

QI once included an astonishing fact that the entire supply of gold ever mined, 190,040 tonnes, would fit into 3.27 Olympic sized swimming pools but seen we may all be dripping in the stuff like over-enthusiastic rappers because above out heads is £550 quintrillion of the shiny metal.
That it is embedded in an 140 mile wide asteroid, Psyche 16, 460 million miles from Earth between Jupiter and Mars may present a problem but NASA are on it, planning to find a way to grab themselves a piece of the action although their timescale of 25 years to get 'proof of concept', and the same again to 50 years to start building the machines capable of mining it means that i may have to postpone my Run DMC impression for a while.
As well as NASA, China have their eyes firmly on the Asteroid Belt and have been planning to experiment on Near-Earth asteroids, which pass close to Earth and could be nudged into our orbit to make it easier to extract vital elements.
The moon has been mentioned often as being ripe for mining and Europe is developing missions there with a view to mining it as is Japan and even tiny Luxembourg is targeting space ventures to the Moon, and eyeing near-Earth asteroids for mining.
There's a new Gold Rush only in very slow motion and will be going ahead just past Mars, if you see Jupiter then you have gone too far.

Supplanting Capitalism With Democratic Economy

Something which the 2008 crash and the right wing ideology of austerity and cuts has underlined is that Capitalism is a failed economic strategy producing wage stagnation, in-work poverty, inequality, banking crises, the rise of populism and an ever impending economic catastrophe.
At last year’s Conservative conference, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, admitted that in the west: 'Too many people feel that the system is not working for them' but the left have only been advocating Socialism for decades and we had a taste of it under Tony Blair's New Labour until he imploded on the Iraq War issue which sucked the air out of all the genuine, and successful, achievements he
imposed on improving inequality on Society.
Despite Capitalism’s cruelties being ruthlessly exposed, the left has not been able to fundamentally change how wealth functions in society, leaving Capitalism with it's privatisation, deregulation, drip down, lower taxes for business and the rich, more power for employers and shareholders to shut down any argument with the shout that there is not an alternative.
They mischievously managed to merge Socialism with Communism which they linked to Soviet Union policies and shut down any debate and anyone arguing that Capitalism should be reined in.
As those most profiting from Capitalism are the same people who back it, it is hardly surprising that the left have been unable to break through but with a dawning recognition that a new kind of fairer, more inclusive, less exploitative, less destructive of society and the planet economy is needed, the left have seized the opportunity to put forward 'The Democratic Economy'.
The new left wing economics, a branch from the ideals of Socialism, put forward by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and the New Economics Foundation (NEF) wants to see 'an economy that makes society, rather than a society that is made by the economy' and in short 'shift decision making power to workers, customers, suppliers, neighbours and the broader public to ensure a more equal model that puts society and it's people before profit, growth and shareholders'.
The idea is to dismantle and displace corporate and financial power in Britain in favour of the less privileged by requiring companies to give their employees shares and to create an 'inclusive ownership' policy which would see inserting into a company’s ownership structure a group of employees with a say in how profits are distributed and wages, hours and employment and working conditions are implemented, workers managing themselves, rather than submit to employers or shareholders.
With Capitalism less effective and more unpopular than it has ever been and many voters unwilling, or unable, to pay much more tax, with living standards squeezed under Capitalism and society in one of the worst, and most unequal, states in several lifetimes, the idea that an economic idea that puts social before commercial goals is a worthy one.
The push should now be to explain that profit and growth are not the economic outcomes that matter, that other values should matter more from now on and Capitalism has failed, just look around you at the ashamedly busy food banks and the homeless sheltering in the town centres to see that, and there is a new economic idea in town.