Saturday, December 29, 2007

What More Can I Say?

But man has given a false importance to death
Any animal plant or man who dies
adds to Nature's compost heap
becomes the manure without which
nothing could grow nothing could be created
Death is simply part of the process
Every death even the cruellest death
drowns in the total indifference of Nature
Nature herself would watch unmoved
if we destroyed the entire human race
I hate Nature
this passionless spectator this unbreakable
that can bear everything
this goads us to greater and greater acts
But even though I hate this goddess I see
the greatest acts in history
have followed her laws
Nature tells man to fight for his own happi-
ness and if he must kill to gain it
why then the murder is natural
We must reproduce we must destroy
The balance must be kept
Haven't we always beaten down those weaker
than ourselves
Haven't we torn at their throats
with continuous villainy and lust
Haven't we experimented in our laboratories
before applying the final solution
Man is a destroyer
but if he kills and takes no pleasure in it
he is a machine
He should destroy with passion
like a man
Let me remind you of the execution of Damiens
after his unsuccessful attempt to assassinate
Louis the Fifteenth (now deceased)
Remember how Damiens died
How gentle the guillotine is
compared with his torture
It lasted four hours while the crowd goggled
and Casanova at an upper window
felt under the skirts of the ladies watching
His chest arms thighs and calves were slit open
Molten lead was poured into each slit
boiling oil they poured over burning tar
wax sulphur
They burnt off his hands
tied ropes to his arms and legs
harnessed four horses to him and geed them up
They pulled at him for an hour but they'd
never done it before
and he wouldn't come apart
until they sawed through through his shoulders and hips
So he lost the first arm then the second
and he watched what they did to him and then
turned to us
and shouted so everyone could understand
And when they tore off the first leg and then the
second leg
he still lived though his voice was getting weak
and at the end he hung there a bloody torso
with a nodding head
just groaning and staring at the crucifix
which the father confessor was holding up to
was a festival with which
today's festivals can't compete
Even our inquisition has no meaning
Although we've only just started
there's no passion in our post-revolutionary
Now they are all official
We condemn to death without emotion
and there's no singular personal death to be had
only an anonymous cheapened death
which we could dole out to entire nations
on a mathematical basis
until the time comes
for all life
to be extinguished.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Assassin's Creed Review

In Assassin’s Creed you play as Altair, an assassin during the Third Crusade who is assigned nine key figures in the Crusades who have to be killed in order to end the war. Actually you’re not playing as Altair, you’re playing as Derek, a barman in the 21st Century who’s been kidnapped by some shady organisation who force Derek to access his assassin ancestor’s memories using a machine called the Animus. So you’re playing as someone who’s playing as someone who… whatever, eventually the plot makes sense as it unfolds in that tragically inevitable ‘here comes the twist and betrayal kind’ of way.

As Altair you’re pretty much an unstoppable one many army. Your time is divvied up between three cities: Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus with a vast countryside separating them that you travel through on horseback. The cities are, without exception, beautiful. Dashing through crowded streets, climbing up walls, leaping across rooftops, jumping through market stalls, it’s all an experience that leaves you panting. The detail and work that’s gone into every surface and making the cities real, breathing places with jostling crowds and loud markets is a triumph. It acts as one big playground for Altair to lark about in and bring death from above. And when it comes to killing Altair is the best.

There are a variety of ways to take out your targets. You can sneak up on them in the middle of a ground and silently plunge a dagger into their neck before slipping away unnoticed. You can charge up, leap on their back in full view and then leg it away as quickly as possible. Or, once you’ve mastered combat (which doesn’t take too long), you can stride in, slaughter all the guards and take your time beating your poor victim to a bloody pulp.

Unfortunately if you’ve done it once, you’ve done it a million times. The sense of freedom, of being a white-cloaked angel of death, takes a massive kick to the teeth when you’re forced, every mission, to do exactly the same thing over and over and over again. Here’s how every mission works: go into one of the three districts of the city. Pickpocket a couple of people to get information. Beat someone up to get information. Eavesdrop on a conversation to get information. Kill your target when you have enough information. There’s two problems here: 1) the information you get is largely redundant because it’s simply a case of getting close to your target and killing him. It doesn’t matter how obvious you are about it. 2) Once you’ve done the first mission, every single other one follows the exact same structure. There’s a criminal lack of thought and attention that’s gone into creating some variety. There just is none. Ubisoft have worked so hard at creating awe-inspiring graphics and an innovative free-running system that they’ve forgotten that the gameplay itself has to be next-gen as well. It’s the most bizarre mish-mash of genius and laziness in any game I’ve seen.

Inevitably the ending makes it hideously obvious that there are going to be sequels, which is a good thing. Assassin’s Creed was a demo, a chance for them to build the engine that lets the whole thing run. Now that they’ve got that down, they can maybe work on making the missions interesting in the sequels and truly create a revolutionary game. As it is Assassin’s Creeds many virtues are undermined entirely by the most unforgivable of gaming sins: repetition.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Oh, Get A Sense Of Humour This Christmas

It’s actually quite rare for people to have no sense of humour. Often the phrase ‘get a sense of humour’ is used by someone who has unexpectedly and rather fantastically sawed their foot off and stuffed it down their mouth by making some joke or comment that has resulted in him or her being called an evil and offensive bastard/bitch. As ‘get out of trouble’ phrases go it’s pretty weak. Most people have some kind of sense of humour. Osama Bin Laden is renowned for his dry wit. Hitler was a great fan of Chaplain. Even Mary Whitehouse, I’m sure, laughed at some things. Probably black minstrels being set alight by Wombles in Klan robes because deep down I have no doubt that she was a weird twisted bigot, but there was still something in that dark coal mine of her soul that tickled her fancy.

That’s a comment that may offend supporters of Mary Whitehouse. Although I’m probably safe on this one because it must be quite hard nowadays to find anyone who still believes in her radical views of what is and isn’t offensive. She thought that Tom and Jerry cartoons should be banned for fuck’s sake… But still, there’s the potential that some Mary Whitehouse groupie reading this may be offended. Which is the annoying thing about humour (yeah, that’s what this is…): it’s bound to offend someone. And the quality of the humour also has no relation whatsoever to the level of offence caused. Jim Davidson is statistically half as funny as cancer and obscenely offensive, while Derek & Clive recordings are some of the most obscene comedic tapes available and also some of the most hilarious. That’s what I think, but each person’s definition of what is and isn’t offensive can vary massively. The same person who is tickled pink by an anecdote about Jesus getting buggered by a crucifix will actively try to eviscerate you for laughing at homeless folk. Saying ‘get a sense of humour’ to someone who’s offended by what you say is pointless, they already have what they term a sense of humour and if what you’ve said doesn’t fit into that definition then it probably never will.

There are some people though who come pretty close to having no sense of humour. I know a couple of people who hate watching comedy. They take no pleasure in it, they never laugh at what the entertainers have to say, they just sit there getting angry and pissed off because what’s being said is clearly not funny and why is everyone else being so stupid and laughing along like the idiot sheep that they are? It sounds like quite a depressing condition, but the people I know who feel like this are themselves charming, lovely people who just have very high standards of what they think is funny.

The real freaks do exist though. People who actually have no sense of humour. Those who have no knowledge of what it means to be funny, what funny is, or how to react to something that is funny. I know only one person who suffers from this condition. Don’t worry, it’s no one you know. I’d be very surprised if she is reading this as she has the technical competence of a medieval maggot. It’s a crippling disease that harms all around her.

I recently finished watching the second series of Dexter. For those who don’t know, Dexter is an excellent show about a serial killer who only murders other killers. It’s a brilliant, dark and comic piece of television. Dexter, like all sociopaths, has no feelings or emotions. He is entirely blank inside, hence the reason he can kill so easily. But in order to fit in to the world around him he has to pretend he has emotions, to put on a mask of humanity so that people don’t suss that he is a psycho killer.

Watching Dexter, it suddenly became clear to me what this person (let’s call her Naamah because that’s a reference so obscure I’ll be amazed if anyone gets it) is. A humour sociopath. A humiopath if you will. Or don’t. It’s not an official medical term or anything. She has no idea what ‘being funny’ means. She observes it but does not understand it. She knows that laughing and joking are an essential part of human interaction, but she has no means of comprehending the ways to achieve this. The place in her brain where humour is processed is a complete blackspot, more devoid of activity than the Moon on a particularly slow day. So she attempts to fake it, to put it on. The results are nothing short of hideous.

She feels most comfortable attempting to be humorous when the rest of the room is laughing and joking along at that nice regular pace that banter (apologies if you hate that word) is sustainable at. Then, just as a topic is reaching its peak, in she will leap with a patently obvious banality that acts like a machete to the Achilles tendon of conversation. *slit* goes the knife, *smack* goes the conversation’s chin into the floor, spurting proverbial teeth and blood all over the shop. People try hard to muster a laugh or a chuckle, cos gorram that kind of silence must be embarrassing for her.

No, apparently not. Given that she doesn’t know what is and isn’t funny she has no way of knowing that her joke has fallen way short of its target. So she ploughs on with another ruthlessly bad observation. And another. And another. She’ll just keep filling the silence with crap observations and much-repeated anecdotes. Maybe this one will include some kind of stereotypical view, as she has half-observed that some people find stereotypes funny. And just to top it all off and make it clear that what’s been said is meant to be jovial and lighthearted, she’ll finish with a high-pitched laugh which tapers off into the phrase guaranteed to bring blood to the tear ducts, ‘oh dear…’, pronounced in as drawn out a way as possible, with an optional shake of the head and in the tone of voice that implies such phrases as ‘it’s just too funny for words’ or ‘life eh? Tch!’ but in my head is filled in with the haunting cries of ‘Despair. Despair. Despair.’

It really is remarkable how off suit her sense of humour is. I mean, the vast majority of people aren’t hilarious comedians, but almost everyone I know has amused me or made me laugh at some point. Not Naamah. I simply have to conclude that she doesn’t have a sense of humour. She is entirely clueless. Her comments and attempts at jokes cause the opposite physical reaction in me to laughter. My brain feels like it’s trying to implode in on itself, my muscles tighten, everything goes red and for a brief moment I want to take the nearest sharp object and plunge it into my bladder in some desperate attempt to make the pain stop. It’s extraordinary. Every single aspect of her sense of humour is wrong. The timing is, metre for metre, precisely off. Her intonation emphasises words in exactly the wrong way, making you cringe before the gag has even started. Her material is meticulously misjudged in its offensiveness, relevance and wit. It’s like someone’s taken a mirror to the souls of all the great comedians that have ever existed and shone their reflections on to this person, creating in the process a Devourer of comedy. A vacuum acting on all that is funny and rib-tickling.

It’s not her fault though. It must be difficult, seeing something that brings such joy to others but never being able to touch it yourself. So this Christmas, when people are sharing festive joy, japes and larks, spare a thought for those who can’t do the same. And also for those who are forced to spend time in their presence.

Pope Will Eat Himself

Here's the last and final note from back in July which ties in nicely with the inexplicable bile that can be found below relating to another person's musical taste...

And in other news, the Spice Girls have announced that they’re re-uniting for another tour. Even Geri’s coming along!

Yes, I know this piece of groundbreaking news was announced literally aeons ago, but it’s taken that long for my brain to digest this information and try to create some kind of coherent thoughts on the matter*. The problem is that I like to see myself as someone close to music. Not in a practical, real sense; I’m completely tone deaf, sing with a voice reminiscent of a banshee being skinned alive and, worst of all, I am a failed bassist.

Yet there is still an undeniable hold that music has over me. In my opinion it’s the most basic, primal and beautiful medium humans have for expression and enjoyment*. Whenever the aliens or any kind of Higher Power decides to make itself known, it’s through music we’ll communicate. And you can quote me on that when it happens*. And the fact that I don’t understand the intricate substance behind music, along with most of the rest of the world, doesn’t matter because there’s something powerful and inexplicable that just makes you feel like you.

It’s difficult to be objective for sure. Especially with the variety and the lifestyle that is associated with each and every kind of music. The fashion, above all else. I’m going to say this straight off because I like to be honest*, I wanted, nay, demanded the Spice Girls album for Christmas back in 1997. And why should I feel guilty about that? Surely music is meant to be personal, unique to yourself? It doesn’t matter what you like, the important thing is that you like it, that it says something to you. It’s inconsequential whether you like something everyone else likes or not, it’s purely subjective, there is no definitive answer.

Yeah… I get that, but I just can’t shake the feeling that the majority of pop music* can rationally be shown to be totally pope, viz culturally dead, suffering from delusions of grandeur, deceptive, responsible for the mass mind rape of the Western World* and often found in silly hats. As far as I can tell (which is about the distance from your eyes to the computer screen) music that is good is genuine. What do I mean by genuine? Whatever you want it to mean, I’m not a fucking dictionary. There’s a lot of music I dislike because of personal preferences but I can still appreciate that it’s doing something artistically. I can’t do that with pop music, not without inducing spasms.

I thought I’d worked out why this was: because the people singing the songs aren’t the ones who write them. It’s used as a badge of merit and authenticity if a pop star is able to muster the talent to write their own songs, mainly because so many pop stars appear pretty vacant anyway and assuming any initiative on their part is just too much. If you and the rest of your band just sing and do whatever’s written on a piece of paper then you’re not a musician, you’re a performer, a face to a product. A corporate whore if you will. Why are these faces and bodies the things that get the attention and adoration, when all the talent comes from someone else? I thought this was completely unfair, where was the due recognition/hammer in the face for the people who actually create this music?

Then it was pointed out to me that these people who write the music don’t want recognition. These foetus munchers behind the music churn out whatever’s in fashion, appeal to the world through marketing and the cult of celebdom, and generally sit about on a big pile of money laughing manically as they perform vivisections on puppies*. A machine that adjusts the pitch and sound of someone’s voice so they can be made to sing well. When their only job should be to sing. Is that not a sign of an industry slightly ka-fucked? I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to do it, I just don’t think their products should be stored in the ‘Music’ sections of shops.

I feel a lot of the blame lies with MTV. I still can’t quite get my head around the concept of watching music. Listening to music, yes, that makes sense. As far as you can apply sense to watching something that you can’t watch in the first place anyway. There is nothing to be gained from watching a song on television. Apart from money, lots and lots of money. I’ve nothing against money, on the contrary I’m an avid supporter of obtaining it, but not when it’s to nobody’s real advantage. You might as well make CD cases covered with spikes and coming in different flavours, give all five senses a thrill instead of just the one. People shouldn’t care what a musicians looks like, it’s completely superfluous to their music.

I saw an age old video of the Mamas and the Papas doing the seminal California Dreaming the other day. They were a bunch of fugly fuckers. Seriously, I thought they were all self-harmers who had regularly taken scouring pads to their faces. A Wikipedia test proved negative on this. Nowadays the song would have to be fronted by some buxom beauties, generally stripping or implying raunchy sex at all times but it wouldn’t make any difference to the song. Musicians are envied and adored because of their music, the music isn’t adored because of the imagery and packaging that comes with it.

Ha! Who’s being a moron now? It’s all about the image, what the music you listen to says to other people. It’s a way of feeling superior, to bond, to share, to be arrogant and 'right', whatever. And that’s all to do with the images surrounding the music as opposed to the music itself. Everyone does it, it’s one of the inescapable thing about music. If pop wasn’t labelled ‘pop’ and was sold instead as ‘Nice, heavy, groovy tunes’ I’d no doubt be hailing it as the greatest thing ever. It’s kinda sad that the Spice Girls need more money that badly, but people will go to see them, enjoy it and be happy as a result. I shouldn’t care, it’s not important, each to their own.

I just can’t shake that damn feeling of pope…

Thursday, December 20, 2007

We Don't Take Too Kindly To Your Kind Around Here

Adam Guettel; Norah Jones; Stephen Schwartz; Andrew Lloyd Webber; Shania Twain; Travis; Stephen Sondheim; Gerald Finzi; Claude Debussy; John Williams; Justin Timberlake; David Yazbek; Alan Menken; The Corrs; John Kander & Fred Ebb; Paula Cole; Delta Goodrem; Thomas Tallis; Wolfgang Mozart; Cy Coleman; William Finn; Dido; Jean Sibelius; Jennifer Paige; Savage Garden; Texas; John Legend; Gustavo Santaolalla; William Byrd; Jason Robert Brown; Scissor Sisters; Laura-Michelle Kelly; Frank Sinatra; Jennifer Hudson; Elaine Paige; Marc Shaiman; Mika; anything sung by Anna McAlpine.

Could there be a greater list of music that is insulting to general taste and decency? I’d be hard pushed to find it. Music is a purely personal thing and people can listen to whatever they want, but when I find a list of favourite music that is so chocker-block full of reeking excrement something in me riles up. I found this list by randomly clicking on a friend (I say friend, as far as I’m aware I’ve never met the man before, he added me as a friend of a friend) on Facebook’s profile and it just begs ridicule. I can’t believe one person would list quite so much drivel as their favourite music of all time. Let’s start at the top and work our way down this shambolic midden, shall we?

Adam Guettel: never heard of him and given the list of heartless fucks that follows, frankly, I don’t want to know. Yes, I know that you shouldn’t condemn that which you don’t know but in this example I cite the case of ‘ignorance is bliss’. Shall we move on?

Norah Jones: She can sing. Apparently this is something of a miracle in today’s talent starved pop public. Criticism should be reserved for her band who write her bland songs but given that I can name not one of them I’ll just say her voice could be used to induce comas and move on.

Stephen Schwartz: No idea who he is but he has a name like a cheap watch. No doubt his music is well in sync but sans soul. Next!

Andrew Lloyd Webber: Arhahahahaha… *cough* *cough* *splutter* sorry, I just half-ingested a cigarette whilst laughing at they very concept of giving Andrew Lloyd Webber musical credit. The man who did nothing but cheapen and whore out the entire notion of musical theatre and, alongside co-conspirator Tim Rice, create work that is schmaltzy feel good family shit that never should, and please God never will, be considered part of the great musical canon.

Shania Twain: She had big tits and a voice like a cat being strangled by Gary Glitter. I’m trying hard to remember one of her songs to mock but everytime I try my brain has a prolapse and I pass out for a few minutes.

Travis: These tosspots actually had the balls to sing ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’ at LiveAid while videos of starving, suffering, drought ridden African children played in the background. Dreary fuckwits.

Stephen Sondheim; Gerald Finzi; Claude Debussy: I’ve clumped this lot together because I have no idea who they are. The name Debussy definitely rings a bell and ordinarily I’d go on Wikipedia to remind myself who he is, but given the standard of musical quality so far I think I’ll give it a miss. I’d rather not risk the chance of vomiting blood for a second time in one evening.

John Williams: Alright, here’s one composer with a semblance of talent. He did write one good score. But which score do I mean? Star Wars? Indiana Jones? Superman? Well here’s the trick… whistle any John Williams score and you can pretty much instantaneously switch to another mid-stream and no one will notice. All his scores sound exactly the same because he’s a one-trick-fucking-pony and should have been an extra in Schindler’s List, case closed.

Justin Timberlake: there’s nothing I can say here that Charlie Brooker hasn’t said with infinitely superior style and flair. Check out Brooker’s new book Dawn of the Dumb for evidence of this fact.

David Yazbek; Alan Menken: Fuck it, in one valiant show of ignorance I’ll just list all the cunts about whom I know nothing of and rest safe in the knowledge that their musical heritage will die alongside all those fucktards who think they’re talented: Paula Cole, Thomas Tallis, Cy Coleman, William Finn, Sibelius, Jennifer Paige, John Legend, Gustavo Santaolalla, William Byrd, Jason Robert Brown, Laura-Michelle Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, Marc Shaiman.

And bam! in one swift movement they all condemned to the annals of musical mediocrity. If you have a problem with my judgment then you're not alone.

The Corrs: Instantly fuckable. As long as they don’t insist on playing their music during lovemaking. If Jim did that I’d be forced to pop his eye out of its socket with my penis. Same goes for the girls.

Delta Goodrem: Oh come on, seriously? Seriously?! She was one of the birds off Neighbours who looked kinda hot and thought she might do a classic break out of soap operas and into the much more lucrative pop world. No! Bad Delta! It worked for Kylie but that’s the limit, the rest just end up as sad druggies mourning the days when they were at least getting paid for being worthless. This town ain’t big enough for two hopeless soap pop bitches…

Wolfgang Mozart: Oh yah. Yah. I just farking love classical music, you know? All the classic composers like, Mozart and… err… yah… yah… classical music is just so deep, yah? The violin is just like, a window into the soul, y’know? Yah. Yah. So shall we have awkward Soho sex now? Such talk = cunt.

Dido: Have you heard the bitch talk? Amy Winehouse can get away with it cos she’s got a voice on her but when the two reasons you become famous are cos your brother is a member of Faithless and you were sampled in a Eminem track about an obsessive fan who kills his wife it’s probably best to die a musical death asap. Oh wait, she already did. Huzzah!

Savage Garden: They were big for two seconds in the late 90s. Then they broke up cos their gay marriage didn’t work out. I didn’t know people still listened to their hormonally charged horseshit. It’s kind of cute in an oh-my-god-pass-the-pills-i-want-to-end-it-all-in-as-painful-a-way-as-possible kind of way.

Texas: They were the support act for David Brent’s band. Whether that’s true or not, there’s not a lot more that needs to be said about them. Oh alright then, if you insist, they were voted in the top ten of things that Scots find embarrassing about Scotland. Now that’s shit.

Scissor Sisters: OK, I’ll admit, I quite like the Scissor Sisters. Their songs do have a certain boogie nature to them that’s hard to resist. But what they did to Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb irrevocably condemns them to musical hell where their flesh shall be shaved away everyday for all eternity.

Frank Sinatra: Now ol’ Blue Eyes had mafia connections and I’ve been watching the Sopranos a lot recently so I’ll be careful what I say here... He was a crooning, repetitive, schmaltzy, boring, ‘my penis is bigger than yours’, atonal arsehole who’s musical shall forever be burned on the pyre of the soulless. That’s kind of unfair I guess but fukkit, I’m on a roll and I ain’t stopping now.

Elaine Page: I vaguely remember hearing her name crop up somewhere. I think it may have been on the colour supplement page I used to wipe my arse with a few months back after a particularly nasty attack of the beer skwitz. I can’t be entirely sure though, the memory does tend to play tricks after a while…

And finally… Mika: he’s metrosexual. Oooh…. That seems to be about all people can say with regards to this rake of shit. His music sounds like the Darkness’ dirty pop leftovers. Go figure.

So there we go. Without doubt the worst possible list of favourite music ever composed. All that’s missing is a bit of Chris de Burgh and Barry Manilow in order to set this soul off on a particularly nasty one-way trip to musical Heaven where they have Smooth FM on constant play and all those with half a notion of musical taste opt to rock out in Hell. At least they have some musical testes down there…

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Walk Like a Woman, Talk Like a Man

There are two physical marks of hitting puberty, surviving and on the other side becoming either a fully-fledged man or woman: Breasts and beards. Most of the time men get the beards and women get the breasts, but Nature can be a cheeky fucker and does enjoy flipping these two around for an unfortunate yet hilarious few. There are other physical changes that occur during puberty as well, but they tend to involve excessive and regular bleeding, sacks dropping and spots erupting, none of which are particularly attractive or appealing.

Breasts and beards on the other hand are wondrous things. I have what could only be described as an entirely natural obsession with both. With breasts the reasons why are pretty obvious: I miss sucking milk out of my mother’s tits. Or something. That was a psychological reason I heard a while ago which for some dark deep down reason I never questioned but hey, to be honest I don’t care what the reason is, those jubbly, bountiful parcels will never cease to entertain me no matter how sick the reasons why are.

But surprisingly enough it’s not breasts that I wish to discuss in this here thesis (it’s not a thesis) but rather beards. Y’see, breasts are easy for women cos every woman gets them. Alright, some are bigger than others, a few look like someone’s thrown highly concentrated acid on to a baby’s face and having a particularly buxom pair can condemn you to a life sans eye contact with any male, but dammit, at least they are a guarantee.

Beards are much more trixy buggers. There can be no doubt that beards are a sign of greatness and maturity, just look at some examples: Santa Claus, Gandalf and God. What do all these people have in common? They’re all made up figures of respect and authority. This is entirely because they have beards. Without them they’d be nothing, simply laughable, pre-pubescent figures with no appeal whatsoever. Can you imagine anyone being scared of a God with a bare chin? Or believing that Gandalf could perform magic in any way shape or form if he didn’t have a beard that a hobbit could get lost in? Ha! The very thought of any of these figures not sporting a full chin-tickler is laughable.

It works in real life too. I remember as a 14 year-old trying to sneak into a pub and being constantly in awe of my peers who already had massive fuck-off sideburns and were shaving thrice a day. They would confidently breeze in to any public house where people would assume they were 50, 60, 100 years old at least. From that moment on I knew that a beard was something I had to procure immediately and without delay.

And yet… and yet… beards are still treated with ridicule and contempt by some. I had a mate who over the summer had to grow a massive beard for a role he was playing. It was a mighty beard, the kind that put one in mind of biblical characters on top of mountains ranting at the world. And was this man hailed as a bastion of awesome beardiness? No. He had to put up with daily ridicule and embarrassment. He had nothing but resentment for his beard because of the social stigma that came with it. I can’t help but wonder what kind of a society we live in when these things aren’t given the veneration and respect they deserve.

Which leads me to wonder why beards are no longer associated with things that are hip and groovy. On a base level it’s fair enough cos after all, what are beards? They’re pubes growing out of your face. Doesn’t sound too pleasant and it shouldn’t. Everyday pubic hair attempts to thrust itself out in little tufts through your face. But if you look at it like that then I refer you back to the reason for breast obession. There must be something more to it than that.

I think a lot of my obsession with beards is due to the fact that I can’t grow a beard of my own. When I try I just get something around about my chin area that vaguely resembles a scrotum that’s starting to get its first fledging pubes. On a testes it’s a beautiful sign of Nature at work (but not one other people want to see). On my chin it’s a fucking travesty. Not only that, I also suffer from bald spots. Where hair should grow in order to give the impression of a mature, readyforsex male, it instead gives the impression of someone undergoing severe cancer treatment. I’m not alone in this either, one of my brothers is also a sufferer of random and apparently inexplicable baldbeardspots. My other brother can grow a beard like nobodies business but fukkit, that’s genetics for you. And I know more than a fair few 'I'll shag anything that moves cos I'm a bloke, wah-hey’ males who are sadly lacking in the beard department.

And this, I believe (obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be typing this), is the fundamental reason why beards are so universally hated for no reason. The world is not full of bearded, happy and content with their lives individuals. It is full of males with too much emotion and not enough testosterone, jealous and bitter at those bastards who appear more manly than them because they can grow pubic hair from their face. Those spotty faced, red-cheeked individuals who have to rely on everything but their appearance to attract a member of the opposite sex. These fuckers are ruining it for the fair few that are blessed with facial pubes; what once was a mark of dignity and maturity has been undermined by those too young and immature who think it’s fair enough to take out their insecurities on those who can’t help their wholesome gifts from genetics. I'll bet you anything you like that George W. Bush couldn't grow a beard if his life depended on it and is subsequently taking it out on the more ably bushed Middle-East.

Well fuck them, fuck him and fuck those who discriminate against big breasted women in any way. They say you can’t help the way that you were born. And yet those who are born with more intelligent faculties are blessed. Those born with athletic abilities are praised. I say it’s time that those with impressive facial hair and buxom boobies were also venerated. Sure there’s no real reason to do so, but dammit, big beards and big breasts, deep down, impress everyone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"great big sharp nasty teeth. look at the bones!"

when i read this article i felt like jesus was on his knee's blowing me with that special technique only the holy son of god can get his mouth around. let's strip this rent-a-christ down and see what goodness lurks beneath the loin cloth:

Word spread among the [Basra] populace that UK troops had introduced strange man-eating, bear-like beasts into the area to sow panic.

jesus christ! that's fucking terrifying! what the hell do this government and army think they're doing? they've created evil genetic freaks driven relentlessly on by the taste of human flesh. they will not stop until the last scrap of human flesh is devoured. flee! run for the ocean, the freak monster's natural enemy!

But several of the creatures, caught and killed by local farmers, have been identified by experts as honey badgers.

oh thank fuck for that.

UK military spokesman Major Mike Shearer said: "We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area."

call me cynical, but nowadays i find it hard to trust anything the supposed uk military tells me. they're all norwegians dressed up as british troops. you'll see.

The director of Basra's veterinary hospital, Mushtaq Abdul-Mahdi, has inspected several of the animals' corpses. He told the AFP news agency: "These appeared before the fall of the regime in 1986. They are known locally as Al-Girta.*"

ok, that's more reassuring. the guy lives there and he has no reason to lie about it really, unless he wants to spread anti-british propaganda. which leads me onto the finest part of the article and the one that actually merits discussion...

But the assurances did little to convince some members of the public. One housewife, Suad Hassan, 30, claimed she had been attacked by one of the badgers as she slept. "My husband hurried to shoot it but it was as swift as a deer," she said. "It is the size of a dog but his head is like a monkey," she told AFP.

brilliant. absolutely superb. i mean there's just nothing you can add to that to make it more fantabidosedly perfect on so many levels. there are three reasons for this supposed eye-witness account coming about.

  1. she actually believed it happened.*

  2. she made it up as piece of anti-british propaganda*

  3. she's a very unpopular person in desperate need of attention*

don't get me wrong here, i'm not trying to ridicule just idiot iraqis here. no, i believe that it's for these three reasons that all myths start, be it werewolves, vampires, witches, whatever bullshit monsters you want to talk about*.

i live in a country where the greatest source of revenue (oh yeah, there is a number 4: making wad loads of cash) is the belief that there's a fucking immortal dinosaur camped out in a freezing scottish lake. hmm... unlikely. if it is there it sure knows how to hide from the best technology that these scientists can throw at it. but what does science know, right? it can hardly compare to these actual real people who have actually stood there and have actually seen a large blurry shape in rippling water. take that science. you joy-killer*.

the idea that she'd make up the story to spread anti-british propaganda sounds slightly paranoid to me and assumes quite a lot of stupidity on her part. but it's not unheard of for these kinds of stories to come about for political reasons. from what i know of the salem witch trials* most of those who were burnt as witches were killed for political reasons. i feel mrs. hassan was being slightly naive if she thought that spreading such a story nowadays would have a similar result. i suppose it does show the amount people there hate the british troops if that's the length they're prepared to go to in order to discredit them. but meh.

as for the third reason... well have you ever seen these scientists and geeks who study these myths and claim to have seen bigfoot or nessie? much like the creatures they seek for they are solitary beasts, rarely noticed or seen by any humans. in actual fact i think reasons 1 and 3 are actually one in the same thing, and making money is quite an important factor so the list should read:

  1. she actually believed it happened because she’s a very unpopular person in desperate need of attention

  2. she made it up as piece of anti-british propaganda

  3. there was an opportunity to make shed loads of cash

but you know, i'm flexible in my opinions like that.

on a serious note: these people are morons who are the kind that take an active interest in horoscopes. they must be educated, in as forcible and as disciplined way as necessary, in the errors of their ways. the imagination is a wonderful thing folks, but let's try and use it responsibly.

and pity those poor honey badgers who are as we speak being tortured and interrogated by both the americans and the iraqi insurgents. won't someone please think of the badgers*? take action, start a facebook group today, change the world!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Paths To Happiness and Omaha Beaches

There’s an old mantra repeated by the demented that drones, ‘Don’t feel down, there’s always someone worse off than you.’ Which is ridiculous. Happiness is entirely relative to the individual and concerning yourself with the deaths and suffering of others is rarely a bright road to joy. Besides, these same hypocritical bastards also claim that ‘money can’t buy you happiness’, an equally haemorrhaged sentiment that is rarely found outside of the batshit mad guilt-ridden middle class.

Money can buy you happiness. I’m writing this on my brand-spanking new MacBook, nicknamed ‘the Sex’, which I purchased after being the owner of a laptop with a big fuck-off crack right across the screen for a year finally drove me to tears. I couldn’t see half the screen, which made writing or viewing anything an interesting challenge for the imagination, and it had reached that point in its life when Windows was just too full of crap. Opening up a large programme was like watching a chemo patient pissing blood from the strain of moving. Hopefully this MacBook won’t freeze repeatedly at the worst possible moments and ‘fall down some stairs’ like the last laptop did. Apparently Macs are more reliable…

Anyway, I bought it with money and it’s made me bloody happy. As do most of the material things that I have purchased in my life. Just because some cheeky chappy who gets his kicks from sitting cross-legged on a barren mountaintop, chanting and brainwashing impressionable middle class teenagers says that a 52” HD-TV with full surround sound adds to nothing to his life doesn’t mean I have to agree. It just means that he’s a lonely man with no soul or appreciation for higher quality image and sound. Again, a slight hypocrisy I feel from one who claims to see things with such clarity.

One of the greatest material things for increasing happiness is television. It reminds you that there’s always someone worse than you. Not worse off or less happy, just worse as a person. It doesn’t matter who you are, turn on the TV and there’ll be someone who is more inept or incapable than you. Happiness often arises through tragedy and watching some poor bastard embarrass themselves without even realising what complete fucktards they are always makes me chirp up and say, ‘At least I’m not that’.

Take, f’r instance, this latest mass pile-up car crash of a show, Arrange Me A Marriage. In the episode I was lucky enough to get drunk in front of, 42-year old musician Trevor Stewart was being pimped out with a wife. By his mum, who was arranging the marriage according to traditional Indian methods. Now that’s pretty fucking tragic for a start. Arranged marriages in India, agree with them or not, are a long-standing part of the culture and more importantly are not used to hook up incompetent middle-aged loners with fat, barren harpies. A point BBC Two (yes, BBC Two is televising this horseshit) seems to have missed.

What really made the whole thing tragic though, and therefore curiously uplifting, was how big a cunt this Trevor was. He was one of those people who offends all the senses. Even though there was a major time/space barrier between me and him I could smell his arsehole nature through the screen. The thought of still being alone at the age of 42 with no meaningful relationship lasting more than 14 months is quite a worrying thought. But as long as you’re not as big a tool as Trevor you’ll probably be alright. He had the tact, wit, charm and social awareness of rancid foetus vomit. Dear old Trevor, four weeks after being introduced to his hopeless wife-to-be at a classically awful engagement party, had seen her twice. He blamed work commitments and ‘taking a week to recover from his stag weekend in a foreign country’ for his marked absence. Unsurprisingly she told him where to stuff it and walked off, proving that beggars can and will be choosers.

This concept of laughing at freaks on TV is now the main staple of reality television. It’s a sick Victorian freakshow but it does squeeze a chuckle from my ribs and gives these bizarre individuals a chance to be on t’tele. Not all tragic losers are funny though, as yet another nutjob proved in America when, in what will no doubt be remembered as one of the more violent comments on Christmas consumerism, he opened fire on a shopping mall, killing eight people.

Sometime these losers get it so wrong. The gunman Robert Hawkins, 19, sought fame through violence and a gun culture that is clearly designed to encourage murder. If only he had instead, like Trevor and all the other countless reality-tv losers, used his butt-end of the social ladder talents to appear on some Where Shall I Cut Myself? VOTE NOW! TXT 278373 show where millions could have laughed and basked in the joy of not being him. That way we could feel good about social awkwardness and borderline psychotics instead of feeling genuine nausea, shock and disgust with the way the world works.