Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Olly Murs' Banality Nearly Killed us All!

For those who find the regular purchasing of Heat Magazine financially non-viable, the website 'Digital Spy' is there, free as an impact with a lampost to tickle your celebrity gossip feet. Who would of thought such an insignificant, trivia bloated, interweb cupboard would break the biggest story so far of the Anno Domini? ME! I predicted it in my unpublished book 2009 X-Factor Runner Up News Predictions(with a foreword from a now homeless Kate Thornton[she has a flat fee of a bacon baguette, a Cappuccino and a kind remark about her hair]). But I was wrong; the truth is they have done something much more exciting: For the first time ever, a news story has been written that is so inane and unimportant, it actually has less insight than no words at all.

'Uninformation' has been theoretical up to now. Einstein's calculations showed that it was a mathematical possibility but that an incident of it was incredibly unlikely to occur(roughly equivilent to the chances of Jeremy Paxman reading a news story without editorialising using the inflection of his voice). It further postured that if there was to be such an Uninformation event, it was most likely going to be a Showbiz tit-bit. Many concerned scientists have warned about the rise of publications dedicated to celebrity gossip, stating that it was not a case of 'if' an Uninformation event occurred, but 'when'. They were right.

So what is the first recorded case of recorded 'Uninformation'? Here it is stolen from HERE.

Murs: 'I fancy Katie Holmes and Fergie'
Monday, December 28 2009, 10:07 GMT
By Rebecca Davies

Olly Murs has revealed that he has a crush on Katie Holmes.

The X Factor runner-up, who is currently single, said that he was a big fan of Holmes when she played Joey Potter in teen drama Dawson's Creek.

"Katie Holmes is very attractive. And I was a massive Dawson's Creek fan, I've got every series and Katie was one of my favourites," Bang Showbiz quotes the musician as saying.

"Fergie is pretty hot. I saw her in real life and she was absolutely amazing."

Earlier this month, Murs told Heat that he fancied 22-year-old dancer Sianad Gregory, who he performed with on the reality music show.

He finished second in X-Factor which means he is both not an amusingly terrible singer and he didn't win. This immediately puts him at the kind of level of forgetableness that necessitates he show his parents his birth certificate to prove he exists every time he goes around to visit them. Secondly he's the most forgettable of all the people that have finished second in X-Factor, all of whom have been forgotten, some of which don't even exist.

The story itself seems to be that he thinks Katie Holmes is attractive. His quote is not even saying that he's about to attempt to pursue some kind of relationship with the ex-Dawson's Creek star (Holmes would anyway be most likely reluctant to give up her seat on the spaceship with Tom Cruise to shag someone who lost to someone I can't remember). It is in the mould of someone uselessly muttering 'I probably would' to themselves as someone who's more attractive than an uncooked chicken appears on their television.

What pushes this article further towards the cliff-edge of Uninformation is the dilution of the Katie comment, by him then spreading his attention blanket over the head of a second celebrity: Fergie, who he's seen “in real life”. The stability of the universe is then further compromised when 'Digital Spy' tells us that Olly earlier on this month commented that he fancied dancer Sianad Gregory - a woman who even though Olly's probably made-up - none the less means that this story isn't even the first of its type about Olly Murs.

This Uninformsation created a black-hole; a schism that could have caused incalculable damage: Channel Five would have been the first to get sucked in, followed closely by hastily considered opinions on football tactics; then rockerys would quickly disappear leaving the small slopes of all Britain's gardens barren. In fact such is the power of this Uninformation Black-Hole, all existence could have been sucked into this Hawking wank anomaly due to the existentialism invoked by Waiting for Godot.

Luckily the black-hole was closed immediately by the story being reversed into substance by it being identified as the first piece of writing ever to create a space anomaly. So we're all right then. 4-4-2!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Bridges Today

Bristol Harbour festival and the footbridge on the waterfront has been temporarily designated one-way in the most serious three bouncer enforced way. The disbelief created by people who unexpectedly find they cannot cross the bridge is messily scattered and kicked around on the cobbles. The amiable bouncers take the abuse with humour,‘have a nice day sir.’

A man in his late fifties with more to the right of his bald patch than the left, remonstrates persistently with the bouncer whose head’s a pumpkin. ‘But it’s a bridge,’ the man argues hoping that in light of this new information the bouncer will relent and let him through. To this man wronged, with his most inconsistent hair, this temporary arrangement is a sick perversion equivalent to the cross-breeding a spaniel to a photograph of a spade. The long suffering target of this man’s anger opens his arms as only bouncers can and spots his favourite cloud – ‘there’s nothing I can do.’. He’s right: his only job is to stop people walking the wrong way over a bridge; to let one man through would be as unprofessional as Wogan screaming ‘Fucking tune!’ over a fading Will Young track.

Eventually the man turns away and breaths in everybody’s oxygen through a nostril he selected before the show. With his bemused mother he walks away turning occasionally to shout another obscenity, his pointing finger bent through embarassment about what its attached to. ‘It’s not worth it, it’s really not’ his mother argues patting his elbow.

As his anger fades, sadness grows. He probably remembers when times were simpler - when footbridges were bidirectional 365 days a year and the only bouncers you’d see on bridges were bouncers crossing bridges. But these are the times we live in.

Monday, July 06, 2009

'They can try'

Gloucester Road and a plump, pale, middle-aged man, his shirt bleeding the hungry sweat of a late Thursday afternoon pulls over his weathered BMW sharply and parks on one of those damn yellow lines with a sign above that said you really don’t want to be parking here at this time of the day.

On my walk to the shops to get a few essentials, I passed two traffic wardens aggressively pumping tickets at any car that dared to so much as whisper. They'd quickly be upon this BMW, sloshing their foamy penalties over its dirty dirty windscreen.

To all intents and purposes the driver appeared to have the arrogance and badly worn aggression that is prevalent in those that choose BMWs. He walked up towards me; nose high in the air allowing the nostril creatures to see the smug cloudless sky. My emotions should have been swaying to satisfaction - this bluster of paunch was to have the nasty shock of a sixty pound fine waiting for him when he got back. But for some reason, just as he was about to pass, a little fountain of virtue started sprinkling raw compassion all over my insides. I decided that it should be me to reach out the olive branch; to try and bring BMW and non-BMW owners to, if not friendship, at least an understanding. To break the chains of hate with the…

‘You don’t want to park it there mate,’ I said, my voice lowering in tone, my words littered with the word ‘mate’ (two things that always happen when I am forced to have any discussion involving cars), ‘wardens just up their mate’ I added.

‘And?’ he replied, stomach wobbling in sympathy to his incredulity.

‘Well they’ll give you a parking ticket mate’ I replied, stating the obvious to the oblivious. I thought that perhaps he hadn’t realised what traffic wardens did. BMW drivers do seem to have huge gaps in their knowledge; most look upon traffic lights are some pointless roadside lightshow they're not invited to and see ‘giving way’ ss some strange religious ritual practiced by non-German cars.

‘They can try!’ he countered, as if a traffic warden’s attempt to place a parking ticket on a stationary unoccupied car had a ridiculously low percentage chance of success.

Into Somerfield I went. Into the heart of maverick convenience store eccentricity. I emerged twenty minutes later with a bag in each hand and started to walk back down the road noticing the BMW still parked. Its owner stood next to it on his mobile gesticulating, poking the parking ticket in his right hand skywards – telling whoever it might be how unfair it is that he should have received a parking ticket for parking illegally, for parking illegally.

Could I dampen the smile that is forming on my face? Could I halt its inevitable progress into bearing teeth? I tried, I really did. I looked away from him as I approached but he clocked me and said, ‘just a minute’ into his phone before covering the mouthpiece. ‘Did you do this?’ he shouted nodding towards the ticket in his sweaty stupid hand. I came to a stand still. Me, the single person in the entire fucking universe that had tried to stop this happening now stood accused. ‘Well?’ he continued, eyes widening, body rigid in flab.

There is no common ground, there can be no understanding. We’re two distinct groups, always
destined to exist separately. Me trying to bring us together is as unnatural as cross-breeding a pig with a wooden spoon. They have a BMW, we don’t; there’s no middle-ground in which we can all go for a picnic.

‘Yes’ I said, ‘It was me.’

Friday, July 03, 2009

I shopped at Waitrose

Yes me, myself did so last night, just to see what it was like. I’m normally a Tesco man (or for laugh Sommerfield), so in effect I’d jumped straight over the orangey head of Sainsbury’s into the arms of this John Lewis off-shoot.

The first thing I noticed is that you had to be quite near to any of the women to tell how old they are. All alone, painfully thin, with skirts just above knee height, whispering angrily at rows of expensive canned food. In fact that seems to an unwritten rule at Waitrose – you must not under any circumstances shop with anyone else. This is solitary shopping, the quiet area in the library where the slightest beep from a mobile phone could mean someone challenging you to a duel.

This silence does not spread to those that 'work' there: Unlike staff of lesser supermarkets, employees do not appear to see it as their responsibility to actually do any work. The students with name badges, stand in groups of two, unapologetically discussing in booming spooned voices about how smashed they got last night on Pimms whilst rotating a can of pees lazily with their non-gesticulating hand. Ask them politely to move so’s you can, I don’t know, maybe get something off the shelf, and they’ll shuffle along without acknowledging your existence, and continue their work-related chatter. ‘I fucking told Rachael he’d do that.’ she enthused at her best friend’s naivety.

The girl at the checkout smiled as she rhythmically swept the goods across the bar-code reader, launching them into her own clouds dreaming of a better place to be. Maybe Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Sommerfield, Aldi, that shop on the corner that smells funny.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

More Door Hardcore

I’ve already previously covered the social goat spoon of how far behind a stranger has to be before there is no need to hold a door open for them. This point was SO well made by me even Jesus took time out from being back alive to tap my head and tell me what a good little creation I was. His dad thought it was shit though – miserable bearded…

The whole door thing came back into my thoughts again today whilst following a stranger through a large office block. I was troubled as to how many times I should thank the person for briefly holding each door open for me to grab after they went through first. Every door? A selection?

Obviously the first door is a given. You have to say thank-you. This person has put himself out for 1.4 seconds, which could have been used being 2.8 metres closer to his final destination. But then the second door, a brief almost embarrassed ‘cheers’? The third, the fourth? Try not saying anything and the dead air starts to twist its bony fingers around your ungrateful neck.

I think the trick is to say something new every door:

1st Door: ‘Thank you’
2nd Door ‘Cheers’
3rd Door ‘Got it.’
4th Door ‘ahhhh’
5th Door (OK you can keep this one silent but make sure your extra proactive in grabbing that door as quickly possible)
6th Door to the car-park ‘THANK YOU’ (Give it large on this one – it’s a kind of summary thank-you, one that fills in the gaps for any slips on the previous five.)

Once you’ve been following strangers through doors for a while, you may even like to experiment with saying nothing until the final door. Yes, the door holder may be a little peeved before you come to hit your one line, but if you append your ‘Thank-you’ with a ‘very-much’ (with the ‘very much’ executed with a tone of suprise and delight normally reserved for someone buying you a bike) then they will go away possibly more satisfied than if you’ve struggled through all six separately. But don’t try this one thank-you technique until you really have had lots of experience in following people.

I know what some of you are thinking: ‘I’m not up to it Matt – it’s ok for a social God like yourself - but I just can’t face wading through this social stew. Well OK, I’d reply looking at you sympathetically/contemptibly before I chucked up my kebab of problem-solving. Try this: Get in front of the target as soon as possible. Put them on the back foot, make them face the minefield of following you. Please be aware this can end in dirty back-fire, I’ve seen two social inadequates simultaneously attempt to use this technique, thus creating a door-social-discomfort-race-condition. I’ve seen two gingers literally sprint past, hitting each other with floppy-disks in an attempt to reach the door first.

As in all cases of walking towards doors, let common sense guide you and the voices in your head tell you that it’s ok if you do THAT!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Shut-it sunshine with your big ideas and stupid shine

I’m looking at the sun out of the office window. I can hear it chuckling, barbing ‘Look what I’m doing out here with ‘heat’ and ’light’ whilst you’re stuck in there typing various combinations of keys in vain attempts to produce words on your television.

‘It’s a monitor’ I argue but the sun isn’t listening anymore. It’s laughing with the kids playing football, with jumpers for goalposts and a football for football. It’s studiously serving the slaves to sunburn who lie static along sandy beaches reading novels written by Jade Goody, stuffing greasy chips up their cracks. It’s playing peak-a-boo with the pale, who hide under parasols outside cafes, sucking then end of their beer bottles, re-hydrating their indifference to the rest of the world.

I wonder outside at lunch for a walk and the sun notices me again. ‘Ah, there you are, decided to join us again have you?’

‘Just for half an hour.’

‘See that’s the problem with people like you,’ the sun says flashing angry hot claws only visible to Hubble, ‘you complain when I’m not here, and then when I put in the effort you hide away in shirts and ties doing ‘work’’.

‘I have to earn a living,’ I argue half-heartedly but the sun doesn’t buy it. He’s sceptical about everything I say because I never look him in the eye. The fear of him burning through my retinas, into the darkest recesses, means I stare downwards defeated at the ugly pavement as I walk back.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I’m in a spinning class ( group of people on exercise bikes following instructions of instructor whilst music popular exactly four years ago plays loudly in the background. Some times referred to as RPM or ‘why don’t you just go out for a ride on a proper bike’ ). This particular instructor, his name Dave, is very keen on announcing percentages indicating the effort level you should be putting in. ‘We’re going up a hill and I want you all at seventy percent’ he announces. I turn the resistance on the bike up and speed up my legs movement. My effort is more or less at seventy percent I believe, though I’m sure none of us know quite what that really means. I expect to be chastised at any minute for running at seventy-two. Gradually there are further calls – eighty, ninety percent, then in a voice reminiscent of Braveheart with a recently stubbed-toe, ‘ONE HUNDRED PECENT – SPRINT!’

I close my eyes summoning every bit of energy I can find. That last flake of pastry from that dodgy sausage roll, those last millilitres of orange juice from that glass that was too warm; all of it burning in the furnace of my tired body, accelerating my pale legs into a milky blur. Sweat throws it self violently off me’ there’s steam rocketing skywards towards the dirty air-conditioning units as all of us push and push and push.

Dave maintains control, cycling hard but with poise in his smug dead eyes. ‘OK – right, really go for it…FASTER’ he suddenly shouts.

I try to push it harder, to go faster, but my body refuses – in fact it informs me quite forcefully that ‘I must be having a fucking laugh.’ It’s right of course – I’m already going at one-hundred percent. This leaves me exactly zero percent available for increase. I look around and I can see that many of my fellow classmates have actually upped their level. I feel cheated – the bastards, they weren’t going at one-hundred percent. My legs are slowing. ‘Keep up the speed’ barks Dave, and I’m sure he must be referring to me.

I want to explain how I was previously one of the small sub-group of the class who were actually going at one-hundred percent. I want us to be recognised as heroes, talked about in pubs, discussed in GCSE history classes. I want to shout and scream at the dirty cheating ninety percenters scum who laughed as we gave it our all.

‘OK ease off’ Dave says finally, twisting down his resistance and we all follow suit.

‘What back down to one hundred percent’ I almost say before realising I don’t have the physical energy to say anything, or in fact even think up the line.

‘Right in the next track I want to see every one upping it by a notch’ Dave calmly announces, as the Artic Monkeys start their song. ‘Time to take it to the next level!’

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Proudly Spaced Patriotism

We brave misunderstood balding English, standing in battered bus stops under angry regimental downpours. This courageous underrepresented British minority desperate to reassert our identity against all that…you know…stuff. Them dragons…them dragons…THOSE WELSH ARE STEALING ALL OUR JOBS!

Anyway, let me tell you - there was no way I was going to miss out on celebrating St Georges Day like THEY want us to. Them…you know the ones with their ‘Political Correctness’, their endless bullying that tries to curb our lazy hate. And there I was on the great day itself realising well over a minute before half seven in the evening that it was actually St Georges day (I’d walked past a pub that said ‘It’s St Georges Day’ on a sign [it also said ‘Why don’t you come in and slay a dragon?’ which didn’t so much make sense as rather not make sense, but look at me mum I’m using square brackets(probably haven’t done it correctly though[I’m so out of my deapth])] ) I stopped for a minute, watching a Y-reg Nova sub-woofer its bored moulds towards me, its special blue light illuminating the under-car - its spoiler increasing its aerodynamics intangibly.’Boom, boom, boom’ it argued as it passed And I stood there entranced as the big spoon of patriotic pride forced love for my country into my smiling English mouth. It tasted like Rosemary.

That said, (what said?) I was just popping out for a little emergency convenience shopping. All my big words and xenophobic attitudes and I was unable to actualise my love for England’s ( and Aragon’s, Catalonia’s, Ethiopia’s, Georgia’s, Greece’s, Lithuania’s, Palestine’s, Portugal’s, and Russia’s, and the cities of Amersfoort’s, Beirut’s, Bteghrine’s, C├íceres’s (Spain), Ferrara’s, Freiburg’s, Genoa’s, Ljubljana’s, Gozo’s, Pomorie’s, Qormi’s, Lod’s, and Moscow’s) patron saint due to it being 7:30pm and not really having anything planned. THAT’S JUST WHAT THE NANNY STATE WANTS!

But then on my casual evening wander across England’s green and pleasant land I walked into the shopping sensation Sommerfield. And this haven of Englishnessnessness had patriotically produced a little St Georges day display so that disorganised people short of milk could enjoy a brief little reflection on how great it is to be a citizen of here.

A single table: tableclothed with polyester English flag, brown with the labour of hanging on to some disinterested Corsa during the 2006 World Cup. And on it, a display of proudly spaced objects (And if you do not believe that you can proudly place objects then you know not pride) with a handwritten sign, ‘Celebrate St. Georges day with us!’.

The objects: white sliced loaf, six pack of scones. 12 white sliced sandwich roles, Jacobs cracker selection. Two litre bottle of Blackthorn Cider, Bag of carrots. Bag of purple headed broccoli…… Remember they were proudly spaced!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Willy Wonka is a character in which Roald Dahl book?

Whilst I’m more than happy to admit that I regularly watch the multi-layered epic Neighbours, I have to draw the line at GMTV. In fact, so important is it to me that I draw a line here, I am going to physically draw a line on a big piece of A4(is it possible to have a big piece of A4?) with a purple crayon.

That said, it’s Good Friday and I’m not quite ready to transfer from being awake to doing something useful with my life and I’m bored with BBC News with its narrow insistence on being exclusively dedicated to things that have happened, are happening or are about to happen – seriously BBC, innovate.

So GMTV with the weather women who only seems interested in telling us where she’s going on holiday and saying hello to her parents. The entertainments reporter from Los Angeles who looks genuinely upset about Woody Harrelson being bothered by a photographer in an airport (literally never has something happened where so little has happened). Our entertainment reporter Carla goes on to report on how Liam Neeson is returning to work just three weeks after his wife died. We’re huge fans of Liam here on GMTV comments the female presenter back in the London studio dressed in the kind of yellow that gives you an instant headache. Oh yes of course Carla quickly responds keen to dispel any negativity aimed at Neeson’s decisions; her face, which up until this point has been irritatingly serious escalates into the kind of concerned frown that can mean only one thing: she’s going to tell us something that we’re NOT allowed to disagree with.

‘With the credit crunch’, she starts. She’s not actually going to say that is she? Of course she is: Earnestly she informs us how Liam must take work where he can as he has to support his kids. Yellow woman’s clothes seem to darken slightly and the ex-tennis player sitting next to her nods sombrely. Take the job for now Liam, I’m sure you’ll get to the top of the council-house allocation list soon.

‘Pink is really in this season’ says the fashion expert who’s been beamed on to the sofa next to our main two presenters as he calls out one by one various models sporadically covered in clothes the colour pink. I’m not sure whether this is normal or whether GMTV can only afford models with a severe lack of self-esteem, but yellow women ( who is back to full UV emitting colour intensity ) bounces on the sofa and tells each of them that they ‘look great’ as they walk on organs first.

Anyway enough of all this, GMTV are giving me the opportunity to win £25,000. All I have to do is text in A, B or C to answer the following question:

Willy Wonka is a character in which Roald Dahl book?

A) Fantastic Mr Fox
B) George’s Marvellous Medicine.
C) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Here’s my thinking: It’s not ‘A’, because the answers not that. It’s not ‘B’, because the answer’s not that. It is ‘C’, because the answer is that.

And where do you start with GMTV’s ‘film expert’ Richard Arnold; a bloke who only talks about films starring ex-Friends actors? You don’t.

Anyway I’ve got to stop this now as Jeremy Kyle is starting and he’s already said ‘look in the mirror’ and I’m going to have punch my television just in case it somehow hurts him.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

When all you've got is the walk

Why should you? Why should you have to interrupt the bounce bounce bounce indie post-indie stride because some car may want to turn ‘left’ onto some road you must apparently cross. Fuck them - why should he throw it all away after all this. All this consciously conscious progress down the pavement with you not caring, the shades in the gloom, the jeans that fit in a way that only one percent of the population are interested in and half of those understand.

This is the stage, the paving, walking into the distance, out of sight with out any compromise to practicality. This is all about who you are and nothing about almost anything there...is... and you’re in the middle of the road and nothing hits you - maybe becuase 'nothing' could be bothered, but most likely because it just fucking couldn't. You laugh at the lifeless body of that Green Cross Code Man you remember from school.

Is it shallow to put everything into your walk and nothing into your destination? Would this bloke fade into the shadows when he had to just 'stand'? I can't answer...I can't answer that..when will I, will I be famous...sorry lost it there...anyway....ah yes let me clumsily link on to the word 'shallow'.

But then twice in one week (maybe this shouldn't be a new paragraph, but fuck-it I'm a software engineer), with as much seriousness as anyone can ever really be bothered getting involved with in April, someone called me that word too: shallow. So I'm going to read a 'difficult' book in a public place because shallow people don't do that. I'll have my headphones on and noone will know I'm listening to Fleet Foxes eight months too late.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Looking up he commented that he’d got so much on his 'To-Do' List he didn’t know what to do. A man, not only with a to-do list, but one larger than average, doesn’t know what to do. Overwhelmed by order and identifiable tasks he now sits silently, drowning, tapping at the space-bar as his last struggle peters out. This is the pain and anguish forced upon us: the hellish imperative to consistently make sense.

Those hundreds of monkeys bashing away at typewriters for an infinite amount of time write complete works of Shakespeare because they’re under no pressure to do so.

‘How long monkey, will it take you and your friends to type out the complete works of Shakespeare?’

‘It will take forever - an infinite amount of time.’

‘I don’t know if I have forever.’

‘We can negotiate on staffing levels, but I simply must insist on this timescale.’

At the quantum level of things, the entire universe is made up of little angry cats trying to scratch each other’s eyes out, so this pursuit of order and understanding is just horribly arbitrary. There’s Robert Preston on my television, moving his hands round frantically, eyes cold and dead, words throwing themselves forward like drunken rugby players. He’s trying to make sense of something to do with money. He says he’s explaining what it all means to you. And by ‘you’ he means me: for I am that second person. I know what it means to me Robert – I am me - it’s who I’ve always been. If you’re so bloody interested in how I’m affected, what matters to my life: why don’t you do the courtesy of phoning me, so I can explain that it’s really none of your business? If you have to ‘make sense of things’, why don’t you start with your own life Robert Preston? Tell us what something (anything) means to you. When was the first time you cried? Was it all those numbers when you first saw Ceefax?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Will the tide ever come in again?

I cannot be blamed – there was nothing I could do. An unpredictable lightning bolt from the left field in the sky. One minute it’s something you couldn’t construct as a whimsical thought from the most fantastical of notions, the next - there it is, stark and crazy. And before you accuse me of gross exaggeration and over-drama, let me reveal to you what has just happened: I experienced listening to a cover version of Something Inside So Strong sung by Michael Ball!

This event cannot be subjectively commented upon; the very parameters that mediate my entire life are at the moment spinning wheels in Michael Ball’s fucked-up fruit machine.
There’s no categorizing possible in terms of good or bad, right or wrong; all I can do is try my best to avoid the lava – the dark red, bleeding lava.

I would be more likely to fathom the origin and meaning of existence than even speculate on what drew Michael Ball to attempt to perform this song. The actual execution breaks so many rules of science that it in studying it, the scientific community may come to understand the constitution of Dark Matter.

God has always shirked responsibilities for such cataclysms by claiming that he endowed his creations with free-will - but this time I’m not sure that excuse cuts it. The almighty must, by his own conviction that he is perfect, therefore have been aware of the possibility that a ‘Michael Ball’ was a conceivable result of some specific intercourse event on his big blue globe. When Labi Siffre released this song in 1987, God must have been all too aware that there was now a window of several years where both a ‘Michael Ball’ and the song Something Inside so Strong existed simultaneously. He did nothing…..

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire Official Scone Review

It’s not particularly insightful to point out that different people think different things are appropriate at different times. In fact, not only is this devoid of insightfulness - meaning is conspicuously absent as well. It all comes from my school days - I think as far back as primary - where it was prohibited to merely provide an answer - you had to include the question within that answer too. Starting an answer with word ‘Because’ was comparable to handing-in a dead pigeon you’d found outside the Co-op rather than your exercise book. But, my first sentence doesn’t really include a question either. I even criticised that sentence from within it self which indicates I was fully aware of it being sub-standard. I was consciously throwing perfectly good words into a pedal bin, which could have been used by those less fortunate to build fishing boats.. While that sentence could have just been read and forgotten, it now has a shed-load of other, possibly even more pointless companions, lazily leaning against lampposts in this cul-de-sac. I mean look at this sentence we’re in now; it will provide a contribution to the sum of human knowledge roughly similar to watching an elderly cast member from Emmerdale Farm say ‘fuck’ on TV’s Naughtiest Blunders.

Because in the cinema, in the adverts at the start(and I mean the ones before the trailers), some people chat through them quite comfortably. Some people are already self-censoring the volume, others are consciously increasing the volume of their voice as if the emphasise the point that a Twix advert is to be drowned out at all costs by discussions related to the impending demise of Jade Goody. But I guess three-quarters are bizarrely transfixed by these advertisements being generously spooned onto the big screen; and a strange phenomenon occurs: Adverts that appeared mildly diverting on television are now laugh-out-loud funny. The one with the slob eating pizza dipped in spicy Tabasco Sauce, who is bitten by a mosquito, which then flies off and explodes in a mid-air fireball, got the sort of laughter normally reserved for the sight of a man falling over in a muddy field. It’s hard to work out whether it’s the bigger screen or the louder sound that increases the amusement. I am however left in no doubt that Nicholas Lyndhurst’s next BBC1 vehicle should become the world’s first IMAX-only situation comedy.

The actual film started off well and carried on in a similar vain, but then the fire alarm went off. I mean literally went off (if ‘went off’ means ‘rang’ and not ‘flew to Africa to discover itself’) – I’m not using some critic metaphor here; we all had to clear out of the cinema and wait outside. There was a kind of excitement about being evacuated mid-film; it was an unexpected plot-twist; the fourth wall had had a hole cut into it and we’d climbed through into the cold Bristol city centre. Our roles in this story may have been entirely limited to swinging our arms and chatting in short sentences, but it’s never wise to run before you can walk.

Ten minutes later and the all clear was given. There had been no actual physical fire, but there’d been no actual physical street kid from the slums of Mumbai winning Who Wants to be a Millionaire either.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


One of the most important applications of ‘communication’, is for people with opposing viewpoints to have discussions, negotiate and ultimately come to some kind of resolution. The Iron Curtain falling, the reduction in nuclear weapons, Britney Spears appearing on X-Factor - all came about by phone calls, face to face talks and a collection of other mediums.

But two groups of people that have always struggled to communicate in an effective way are Christians and Atheists. I have seen debates in front of audiences; though these usually descend into one side using the example of the complexity of the eye as an argument and the other using the example of the complexity of the eye as an argument. At least though this is face to face conversation, and I’m sure there were phone calls made to set up these head to heads. It is clear though that in general, these meetings and discussions have not really resolved anything and the two sides are still deeply entrenched in their viewpoints

Recently it appears that relations between these two groups seem to have now hit an all time low, with not a single word exchanged until just recently. To be fair, it was the atheists who broke the ice.

“There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life,” they said.

“There definitely is a God. So join the Christian Party and enjoy your life," the Christians have since replied.

It’s nice to see these two chatting again, don’t get me wrong, and the overall tone of the conversation does appear to be friendly. I’m just a little concerned that maybe, the medium of the bus isn’t the most efficient available to them. I can only assume that face to face discussions, letters, phone-calls, emails, carrier pigeons, smoke signals and mime, all must have been dismissed as not impersonal enough by an obviously hurt group of atheists. But the sheer impracticality of using a bus for chat is hard to underestimate. You have to make sure that your message goes on enough buses so that your target is likely to see it. I would have thought it would have at least been worth each group researching where at least one member of the other waited for a bus every morning, so they could target one bus and thus cut costs.

Then again, maybe I’m just behind the times. I was quite late in getting a mobile phone. I’m sure that like mobile phones, chatting to each other using the side of buses will come down in price and become common place. The technology will improve with bus companies able to predict where the recipient of your message is likely to be. I'm sure BT are rolling out their own network of single-deckers as we speak.

As far as the atheist/Christian argument is concerned, it was quite rightly pointed out on Radio Five Live that the argument could be irrefutably settled, if rather than putting messages on buses, one of them just stood in front of one.