If Valerie Solanas had only realised just how dull the early days of the twenty-first century would be, largely because of automation, she may have taken a leaf out of Stanley Kubrick’s book and shot at Coca Cola machines instead of one of the most interesting people ever. Or, she might have shot Nixon – he certainly deserved it.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Following the conviction of Brazilian cleaner Rosalene Driza (37) for her own special brand of ball tampering, the meaning of ‘you shouldn’t hang out your dirty linen in public’, has become crystal clear to me. It means it’s a bad idea to have lots of sex with an illegal immigrant married to an Albanian mafia hit man, in your best M&S lounge suit and send her post-coital emails extolling her real chilli hot stuffedness and lovely shagginess if you are an immigration judge. It is further a very bad idea to keep videos of previous sexual romps with fellow judges prominent on the shelf of your living room when you have hired said illegal immigrant to dust it on a daily basis.
Poor old Judge Mohammed Ilyas Khan, the witness formerly known as Judge I until an order protecting his identity was lifted yesterday, did not heed. Sixty year old Khan had had a five year relationship with another Judge, known as Judge J and they’d hired Driza as their cleaner, knowing she was an illegal immigrant. Presumably they felt this to be a good thing because they could threaten her with deportation if she missed a bit while mopping the floor and five quid an hour in the hand certainly beats extortionate agency fees. Being immigration judges you know that you will end up with an illegal immigrant anyway but you’ll be paying twelve quid an hour instead.
Everything bounced along fine until Judge J split with Khan and acquired yet another immigration judge as her new lover, Judge N. There can’t be too many immigration judges left who are not involved in this story. No wonder there is such a big backlog down at Somerset House. The proverb ‘two is company and three is a party’ was overlooked by Judge J as she promptly fired Driza for interfering with her personal life. This is the person who looks for streaks in your undies, cleans your toilet with your electric toothbrush and eats all your gherkins. After five years, it suddenly dawns on you that they know all there is to know about you.
Khan, who had taken Driza on as his cleaner in his new flat, promptly fired her too, presumably for not interfering enough in his private life because she soon moved in as his lover. This was a good deal for Khan as he still got his cleaning done and saved the fiver an hour. It all went horribly wrong when J discovered the pair together and Driza swiftly found herself relieved of her feather duster. This is when she conceived of the cunning plan to steal the videotapes which supposedly show Khan and J having sex and snorting cocaine. Twenty thousand quid seems like a fair price for getting these back to me. If she’d shown them at
At the trial it came out that Driza had married an Albanian named Mane who is being sought in
‘Barbie, for me, represents an aspiration to outer perfection in a feminine, sexy and sensual way,’ Visser explained as a point of clarification.
The cases are eerily similar in so many ways, not least of all the shocking involvement of a trio of French Impressionist painters, none of whom had previously been in any trouble with the law.
Now the blackmail case is out of the way, it is rumoured the BBC intend to offer Driza a reality cleaning show called, How Clean Is Your Character? Former FIFA secretary Faria Alam is set to co-star. The raven-haired temptresses will sweep through the houses of the rich and famous in search of soiled moral fibre and jars of gherkins. A BBC insider said today, ‘this show will be bigger than Customs & Excise Undercover. Celebrities with out-of-date gherkins will be named and shamed.’ I don’t think this is actually an old proverb but it makes a lot of sense to me - Where there is pâté, you will find gherkins.Photo from The Scotsman
‘I had just come off the computer and I thought I had logged off’, Rachel explained to a startled BBC reporter who has three-year-old triplets and wi-fi access. ‘Jack jumped on the chair … straight in, found the page and bought the car’. Although he can’t yet read, Jack has watched Rachel click on the ‘buy it now’ button when she has used the site to buy him toy cars. He has absorbed that this is an important life skill to have. When you see something that you want, you click on it and Parcel Force delivers it within ten days. It is more reliable than any other service in the country and therefore to be utilised as much as possible.
Young Jack denied culpability, immediately laying the blame at the Barbie roller skated feet of Letitia, his imaginary best friend and fellow Top Gear presenter. A team of stony faced, breathtakingly judgemental and not to be messed with family liaison officers from Worcestershire Social Services were not having any of it, however. They know it is not yet legal to issue ASBOs to imaginary friends and have recently signed a petition to lobby Parliament to have this archaic and draconian law changed as this would certainly help with meeting targets.
While family liaison officers were quizzing Rachel about her personal life and checking whether she had been overpaid on her Working Families Tax Credit account, Letitia slipped out and made off with the car which had not yet been taxed and insured. It transpires that Letitia could not drive - this is a mandatory requirement for Top Gear presenters - and she slammed the car into a Polly Pocket disco bus causing widespread damage. Pieces of mirror ball were located as far away as three miles from the crash site.
Emergency workers were quickly on the scene and described the crash as ‘horrific’ and ‘the worst case involving an imaginary friend and an eBay purchase we have ever had to deal with.’ Family liaison officers immediately arrived and began to counsel passers-by who had not witnessed the accident and who don’t shop on eBay. ‘The effects of this kind of trauma can take a while to surface’, a team member told the BBC, ‘people feel as if they must suppress their feelings and carry on, but one day they will find themselves logging onto eBay, unable to control their impulse to click on ‘buy it now’ and the whole vicious cycle starts again. By then it will be too late.’ Family liaison officers declined to give their names to the BBC as this has in the past led to attempts on their lives.
A spokesperson for the British Nostalgia Council, today warned that ‘young people risk being consumed by a spiral of debt before they even reach school age and face a bleak future of having to mortgage their iPods to pay for even the most basic rocket salad in the canteen’. The BNC campaigns for the reintroduction of Green Shield Stamps as a way of halting the devastation caused by the ‘must have it now’ culture. ‘You appreciate a product much more if you have to wait until it is several years out of date before you get it’, the spokesperson explained.
Worcestershire police were shocked to find that imaginary friends could not be prosecuted posthumously for dangerous driving or not using a booster seat. ‘This driver was clearly under the regulation height of four feet five inches and should have been using a Barbie booster seat available from Mothercare and Halfords for £39.95’, a police spokesperson explained. ‘Anyone who is considering a fatal crash should make sure they are fully compliant with the law.’
Jack is now under house arrest for breaking his ASBO. He was caught visiting the crash site to ascertain if there were any useable spare parts from either the car or Letitia that he could sell on eBay. He explained this was to pay off his debt (which has now grown to £450,000 with interest because he took out a consolidating loan and the bank foreclosed on his iPod). He understands that he has done wrong but is optimistic about the future as eBay has offered him a job as a highly paid consultant to help them make it easier for children to access their services. Every Barbie pink Nissan Figaro has an animal print fake fur lining.Photo by photobucket.com
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Perhaps she has modelled her wifely self on the late Princess Diana, seeking to acquire the ‘common touch’ as a foil to her husband’s transparent distaste for the general public. Princess Diana was never the sharpest rhinestone in the tiara and none of her fawning acolytes was ever game enough to explain to her that the word ‘common’ was interchangeable with ‘vulgar’.
Photo from www.anorak.co.uk
Monday, September 25, 2006
Famous people always say ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ when describing anything they happen to be doing. David Hasselhoff seems to do this more than any other famous person. ‘We made a movie and then we went out to Rwanda to cheer up all the sad people out there and then we made another movie and then we had a devastating shaving accident which made us miss an important media event..’ You know the sort of thing. I do understand that it takes more than one person to make a movie but surely even David Hasselhoff can manage a shaving accident without assistance. He seems unable to discern where he ends and his entourage begins.
Image from www.wwujd.com/unclejessedoinstuff
Sunday, September 24, 2006
X Factor contestants fall into two categories. The first is gorgeous, talented people who can make Robbie Williams’s Angels or that Celine Dion song from Titanic actually sound half decent. These are people the public should engage in collective flagellation over for ignoring for so long and ITV should be congratulated for bringing them to our attention. There are usually two of these and they are eliminated in the second round after initial wild enthusiasm from the judges because they are discovered to be Tony Hadley or Sonia trying to get much needed media attention.
Another wonderful cartoon by Chris Madden
Saturday, September 23, 2006
‘Nowadays children are lacking in reading and writing skills, and they are saying things like ‘I don't like to read' or ‘ I don't want to write.' That hurts me very much’, pines the diminutive guru.
At age eight, Adora is the author of over three hundred stories and a hundred poems and has just published her first book. At a whopping three hundred pages Flying Fingers claims to be ‘an innovative mix of fiction and instruction’, that ‘gives parents and educators access to the strategies that have been so successful with Adora’. These ‘strategies’ which her mother Joyce is so keen to promote appear to involve giving her books to read and a Dell lap-top to type on. I don’t know whether the fact that it’s a Dell is material.
I listen and they come.
My strength is my silence.’
Despite Adora’s fame as a ‘writer, poet and humanitarian’, she is yet to be inducted into The Kids Hall of Fame. As she travels the world dispensing scholarly wisdom and churning out stories through the night with her ‘furious fingers’, perhaps she needs to ponder how many more humanitarian acts she needs to perform to gain her place in this coveted institution. It is sad to see a child falling short of her full potential. Adora – try harder
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Earlier this year I started an inventory of all my possessions where I write a short description of every object I own, how I came by it, how much it cost etc. For some things I’ve done a little drawing. It took me about three weeks to complete the living room. There are 110 objects in there alone. Admittedly most of them are DVDs but that is a lot.
Clever cartoon by Chris Madden
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
‘Because of a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife, the transplanted penis regretfully had to be cut off’, pioneering and not best pleased surgeon Dr Hu said following the successful reversal.
Cartoon originally published on www.boomersfunnies.com
Monday, September 18, 2006
Well, wrap me up in tissue paper and call me Barbie – it is possible to get swift action if you have the right connections and know which heart strings to pluck.
Today, the Children’s Society launches its Good Childhood Inquiry a mere six days after one hundred leading ‘experts’ pushed the moral panic button and told the nation that childhood has morphed into a disastrous hybrid of Taxi Driver and Oliver Twist.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
In this day and age, surely we could have a gay, black Pope. It was hardly worth waking up this morning as the news was dominated by the dreary tedium of ‘Benny the Dull’ causing controversy in the Muslim world – that is so not difficult to do.
Anyone who has read Benny’s entire speech can easily see why newshounds seized on the insult to Islam which came mercifully early in the speech but followed such contemplative gems as,
‘We would meet before and after lessons in the rooms of the teaching staff. There was a lively exchange with historians, philosophers, philologists and, naturally, between the two theological faculties’.
One can dream but the grim reality is he probably wasn’t referring to fluid exchange, not even a spoonful of sherry, I’m afraid. Journalists must have thought all their Ramadans had come at once when they were tossed their exit quote from 14th Century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus,
‘Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.’
A brief pause was presumably necessary as foreign correspondents fiddled in their pockets for their Ryanair tickets while simultaneously attempting to file copy via their Blackberrys. Benny the Dull continued,
Once a semester there was a dies academicus, when professors from every faculty appeared before the students of the entire university, making possible a genuine experience of universitas - something that you too, Magnificent Rector, just mentioned - the experience, in other words, of the fact that despite our specializations which at times make it difficult to communicate with each other, we made up a whole, working in everything on the basis of a single rationality with its various aspects and sharing responsibility for the right use of reason - this reality became a lived experience.
I know it’s been translated from the German so the fact that it doesn’t seem to make any sense at all may not be entirely err … germane. I don’t speak German myself but I have watched German films with English subtitles and what seems to happen is you get five minutes of dialogue and then the subtitles appear,
‘You’re such a shit,’
‘I’m going out for cigarettes.’
‘Auf wiedersehn, arsehole.’
There’s not even any real need to translate the last line. Everybody knows what it means because of an eighties television show called Auf Wiedersehn Pet which was about Geordie builders going over to Germany and arsehole seems to sound the same in every language and it was also in the show rather a lot. In the world of theological academe however, the pace is even slower than gritty eighties drama.
By the time Benny the Dull was mid-speech, foreign correspondents were safely tucked into their beds, perhaps gleefully anticipating the inevitable storm of protests. Sadly, not a single journalist was left in the auditorium to collect the scoop of the day – that Benny the Dull seemed to be calling for the abolition of hell. Not before time either. Surely it is not acceptable to go on threatening children with what is clearly a negative life choice,
‘The thesis that the critically purified Greek heritage forms an integral part of Christian faith has been countered by the call for a dehellenization of Christianity - a call which has more and more dominated theological discussions since the beginning of the modern age.’
Only the staunchest defenders of the faith could have still been awake as Benny the Dull rounded off,
‘And so I come to my conclusion. This attempt, painted with broad strokes, at a critique of modern reason from within has nothing to do with putting the clock back to the time before the Enlightenment and rejecting the insights of the modern age.’
Now, can we have that gay, black Pope please, and soon. I don' t know that Prince is doing that much right now. Not that he's necessarily gay but he could play gay, he's an artiste right?Cartoon from www.acerominano.blogspot.com
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Now she’s determined to go out with the mother of all barbies, announcing that she will campaign for a hung parliament. Perhaps she will offer the use of one of her lovely scarves for the lynching. In her present incendiary mood who knows what she might be capable of. Think back to the dying days of the Tory government and the human sacrifice that went on there. Car crash politics with sex scandals (David Mellor and Tim Yeo), money scandals (Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith) and the nightmare of Jeffrey Archer – the original raw prawn - whose list of transgressions is longer than the
Wonderful art by Dan Levin www.danlevin.com
Friday, September 15, 2006
Ken has made himself a little deal with Hugo Chávez of
‘I'm sure the Venezuelans who struggle below the poverty line, many of them critically so, would be shocked at the cynical siphoning off of their main asset to provide one of the world's most prosperous cities with cheap oil’, said Angie Bray, Tory leader of the GLA. Ooo, sounds very sensible to me.
Even Mike Tuffrey, leader of the Lib Dem group made a credible grab for the green agenda, ‘This reduces us to the status of a third-world barter economy. We should be weaning ourselves off fossil fuels, not trying to get them at subsidised prices from Venezuela.’
You can see where this is all coming from. You’ve got people who share ideologies but not necessarily practices and maybe can’t distinguish between the two very well. It may be torture to work in Ken’s ‘hedgehog’, with its lack of shelf space and glass walls that give the impression of closing in on you like the compactor in Star Wars, but it’s not actual torture. Travelling on the tube may feel like being in a cattle truck but it’s not an actual cattle truck. So when they have conversations they may be talking about entirely different things.
When Chávez for example says things like it was the Americans who blew up the twin towers, maybe Ken thinks he is speaking metaphorically. Chávez means he thinks the Americans laid actual dynamite in the buildings and detonated it. Ken maybe thinks he means the Americans were playing with political dynamite poking their unwelcome noises into the
It is a bit of a shame that it’s all come out so muddled. In a way, you wouldn’t mind these men who champion the poor giving one in the eye to oil oligarchs. They’re a bit like the Seven Samurai, except there are only two of them and they’re not Japanese.
Chávez has managed to make similar deals with
The proposed solution is to offer subsidised Oyster cards. This does seem like a good idea but will it require the kind of odious and degrading assessment system that repels potential beneficiaries and will recipients have to make a declaration and find their benefits stopped for months while someone investigates? Will there be a need for inspectors in every tube station to ensure that the system is not being abused? Ho hum. Ken – there is slick and there is oil slick.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Others stayed and held up banners against the war in
‘The sophistication of document forgery means we can only be confident of people's identities if we have their biometrics: their fingerprints, irises and digital measures of their face.’ (Tony Blair TUC speech 12/9/06)
Somebody needs to explain to me why this news is less important than the PM leaking the latest unemployment figures (which are pants anyway) a day early.
This data-basing of individuals will initially apply only to immigrants,
By April 2008, all visa applicants will have their fingerprints taken. All visa nationals will need biometrics to get through border control. By April 2009 people here for work or study will have biometric identity cards, and biometric travel documents will be issued to refugees by the middle of 2007. The first ID cards will be issued by 2009. (Tony Blair TUC speech 12/9/06).
Children are already conditioned to accept pinpoint surveillance. I know people who call their kids every hour and instead of saying, ‘hello darling, are you basking in inner peace’, they bark, ‘where are you?’ There then follows some hard negotiation along the lines of ‘seven… no way, alright, no later than nine… I mean it. Nine!’
Cartoon by Chris Slane
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
One Sunday in 1997 my routine stumble around Hackney Marshes suddenly got interesting, theoretically. The normally spectatorless raggle-taggle games of football suddenly had a few people milling around. I asked a fellow stumbler what was occurring and he said that Ian Wright and Eric Cantona were playing. What kind of an idiot would believe that? Needless to say I didn’t stay to watch the filming of Nike’s iconic Parklife commercial.
There was obviously the kind of creative melt-down at Ad-4-u that results in a back-to-basics brainstorm. Nike, it seemed had not forgotten its wonderful day having a kick about with the down home, salt of the earth, real people of Hackney and environs. Borrowing from the all too familiar language of public speak, Nike’s Head of Corporate Communications said,
Detail from Guernica Pablo Picasso