Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Golden Moments In Scottish Football History

The Place: Radio Scotland studios, Glasgow

Dramatis Personae: Richard Gordon, presenter of football show Sportsound; Willie Miller (pictured, right) former Aberdeen player and manager turned commentator.

Preceding events: Following a goal in one of the day's games, the scorer's teammates began kissing him on the cheek in a rehearsed celebration. Then follows, approximately...

Richard Gordon: No, I don't remember anything quite like that in all my years watching football. How about you, Willie Miller, have you ever kissed a man?

Willie Miller: No, I haven't... I'll tell you what else, I've never had sex with a man either.

(Radio silence)

Richard Gordon: Pardon?

(See previous golden moments here, here and - VNSFW - here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Joke That Doesn't Quite Work In Text, But Would Be Hilarious In Photoshop

Quick - take a speedy look at the headline on this story (link removed), then imagine what a brilliant episode of House that would be. I'd watch it, anyway.

Edit - Those bastards at the BBC have changed the headline - it's been Lorry Found Hanging Out Of Ferry all day, but twenty minutes after I put up this post they changed it, just to make me look like a tit.

Well done BBC, you succeeded.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

An Introduction To The Language

Drunk

Past participle of drink (generally alcoholic)

Arseholed, Bevvied, Blootered, Blasted, Blocked, Blitzed, Blotto, Bombed, Blazing, Cabbaged, Cut (half), Drunken, F*cked, Flying, Fried, Guttered, Goosed, Hammered, Half (cut), Inebriated, Intoxicated, Jakied, Kaylied, Legless, Lubricated (well), Loaded, Lit, Leathered, Mullered, Monged, Mashed, Merry, Oot ay it, Pissed, Plastered, Pickled, Paralytic, Rat-Arsed, Rubbered, Ripped, Ruined, Slaughtered, Smashed, Soused, Stewed, Stinko (US - Miller's Crossing), Steamin', Sloshed, Sozzled, Squiffy, Shit-faced, Stocious, Tanked, Tipsy, Tight, Trashed, Trollied, Trousered, Toasted, Wasted, Woozy, Wrecked, Wankered, Wellied, Zombied.

Politics

1 the activities associated with governing a country or area, and with the political relations between states. 2 a particular set of political beliefs or principles.

Affairs of state, Civics, Matters of state, Polity, Statecraft (Thatcher, ergo dubious)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Liveblogging The Inauguration


11.06am (EST) By God, I had no idea puffer jackets and daft hats were in fashion stateside. I'm going to have to buy a new wardrobe for my next visit, all I've got is last year's corduroy and split-crotch pants.

11.10am They're quite tasteful split-crotch pants, mind, nothing tacky.

11.17am The former presidents are here! Jimmy Carter looks like somebody stuck a pair of Mr. Potato Head eyes into a block of wrinkled Spam then told it a good joke. Bill Clinton looks like he's getting younger, if anything. I don't know how he does it... I suspect that, in the Clintons' attic, there's a fine painting of Bill that seems to get a few more blowjobs from a tubby intern with each passing day.

11.18am George Bush the First hasn't vomited on any Japanese Prime Ministers yet, which is a bonus.

11.33am They're playing Hail To The Chief for George W. now. I'd hoped they'd go for something more appropriate, like Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter.

11.34am
Good on old W., he's really been quite good about this whole transition thing. I fully expected him to accidentally set himself on fire or get his head stuck in an elephant or something.

11.44am Damn, some blow-dried closet case is grinding out the Jesus stuff now. Screw this, I'm putting on Pro Evolution Soccer 2009.

11.49am
That was never offside, ref!

11.55am Aretha Franklin bashes out an insolent rendition of God Save The Queen, which is ironic when you consider that this entire affair is basically an act of gross treason against the British Crown. They'll be laughing on the other side of their traitorous faces when the Revenue show up to demand 230-odd years in unpaid taxes, I'll tell you that.

12.00pm Obama fluffs his lines! He rambles about protecting the US Constitution, when I believe he intended to announce that he would enslave the Americas under the bloodstained flag of Alqaedastan. That's a major gaffe.

12.05pm Habeus Presidentam! I hope they get Obama a little Popemobile he can bang about in, that would be great. He could roar up and down Pennsylvania Avenue in it mooning tourists and there wouldn't be a thing they could do about it.

12.23pm Well, BBC News thinks it was a great speech, brilliantly received. I wouldn't know, I was looking at pictures of fat girls' bottoms on fatgirlsbottoms.com.

12.27pm
Well, I guess that wraps it up, and everything's going to be fine from now on. Like Tony Blair always used to say, "things can only get better", and I agree - I'm especially looking forward to the part where the new President leads the fighter attack on the alien mothership.

Aim for the big green gun thing on the underside, Barack!

Monday, January 19, 2009

LOL Emansipaytorz

Being a bit of a history buff, there's nothing I like more than some good, old-fashioned national treasures.

It's to my eternal regret that I've never made it to Washington DC, where you can't throw a half-brick without clobbering a marble statesman or a commemorative monolith, and of everything there - millions of dollars worth of national myth-making - it'd be the Lincoln Memorial I'd most like to see.

It must have been an intimidating commission for the sculptor, given Lincoln's pivotal role in world history, but it's a sterling piece of work. Lit from above, it's a serious, brooding depiction of a subject burdened with the weight of his nation's destiny, yet exuding an air of quiet determination. See below for an example...


Of course, it's not quite as impressive in daylight, and when it's lit from below, it looks a bit like Honest Abe's just been goosed up the arse by a huge stone John Wilkes Booth, as illustrated today with Barack and Michelle Obama in the foreground, here.


...And let's see that in close-up...


Perhaps it's just me, but doesn't the bottom-lit Lincoln look every bit as surprised and disbelieving as the great man himself would've done, if he could've been there to witness the President elect's visit?

Hell, I suppose if you'd told me four years ago today that a liberal black senator with loose connections to some of the American left's more barking figures would be Bush's successor... Well, I expect that two giant exclamation and question marks would have exploded through the top of my skull and burst with a sound like a giant duck quacking Dudewhatthefuck??!! into a bucket.

Funny, how things turn out.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Attention, Programming Directors of Channel Four

I would find your claim that your documentary Half-Ton Son is a sensitive and non-exploitative look at the lifestyle problems of the morbidly obese more convincing if you didn't tack on an Oom-Pah, Oom-Pah tuba soundtrack everytime the subject waddled into shot.

Thanks.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Whatever Friedman Is For, I'm Against It

Ladies and gents, please allow me to introduce a new law for internet discussion forums - The Friedman Prohibition, being that -

"If NY Times columnist and philosopher-golfer Thomas Friedman favours a particular policy, it follows that said policy is bound for disastrous failure and should be vociferously opposed."

A little background - Friedman is the author of best-selling tomes filled with golfing anecdotes and embarrassingly priapic, leg-humping panegyric on the wisdom, integrity and ingenuity of the super-rich business class. His opus The Lexus And The Olive Tree was a weighty rumination on the idea that giving pan-handling business interests and Armani-clad conmen total freedom of action would spin unlimited gold for all of humanity.

Now that the same financial class has, in full public view, driven the planet's economy into the toilet and sparked a worldwide jobs-massacre, Friedman has a new plan - President Obama should threaten to nationalise the banks!

It may be tempting perceive this as Friedman's epiphany, in which he realises his desperate inability to make accurate predictions, but beware - it's a trick. Friedman is a genius of sorts, possessing a seemingly bottomless well of Duh, I wuz wrong again on which to draw. If Obama follows his advice, we'll all be guarding our vegetable gardens with shotguns by 2010.

Friedman's genius doesn't merely stop there, however. A mere hack would pull the wool over our eyes by inventing seemingly plausible reasons to undertake insane projects. Not so Friedman, who prefers to explain the reasons why a project is a terrible, often criminal idea... and then argue that we should do it anyway.

Take this piece on the invasion of Iraq, for example...

"...You are about to see is the greatest shake of the dice any president has voluntarily engaged in since Harry Truman dropped the bomb on Japan... The mother of all presidential gambles... Mr. Bush is betting his whole presidency on this war of choice..."

Since the entire article [1] reads like a list of reasons why the invasion of Iraq would be a criminal enterprise - since WWII, legal consensus seems to be that those who launch wars of choice traditionally wind up at the end of a rope - and that it would likely to end in catastrophe, you might think Friedman would counsel against it. You'd be wrong.

Not that Friedman's wrongness is limited to future events, as he's perfectly capable of being horribly wrong about the past as well...

"I was one of the few people who argued back in 2006 that Israel actually won the war in Lebanon started by Hezbollah."

Stop there - not only is he wrong about Israel winning the Lebanon war, he's wrong that only a "few people" have argued that point. Lots of other lunatics did too, although the Israelis themselves disagreed somewhat.

That's just a launchpad for Friedman's main point - that the Israelis should "educate" Hamas. How should they do this?

"I still can’t tell if Israel is trying to eradicate Hamas or trying to “educate” Hamas, by inflicting a heavy death toll on Hamas militants and heavy pain on the Gaza population. If it is out to destroy Hamas, casualties will be horrific and the aftermath could be Somalia-like chaos. If it is out to educate Hamas, Israel may have achieved its aims."

Does Friedman prefer the all-out Somalia option, or just the "heavy pain for the Gaza population" one?

"I hope that it’s the education of Hamas."

To be clear here - Friedman really is advising the infliction of "heavy pain" on the Gazans in an effort to stop Hamas rockets. Readers are invited to look up "war crimes" on the internet and find out how such acts are viewed, then speculate on how much thought Friedman has given this issue and wonder what the hell his editors at the Times were thinking putting this into print.

And so we have our first test - as I finish this post, Hamas have just announced a one-week ceasefire. Will the Friedman Prohibition hold true, or will it fall at the first hurdle? Will his prediction pan out, or will it be heads-on-sticks by Wednesday?

Only time will tell but by God, I'll be keeping an eye on the situation to find out.


[1] From the same article on the Iraq invasion -

"So here's how I feel: I feel as if the president is presenting us with a beautiful carved mahogany table -- a big, bold, gutsy vision. But if you look underneath, you discover that this table has only one leg. "

There you go, folks - the Iraq invasion was a one-legged mahogany table, and Thomas Friedman is a multimillionaire.

What a weird and wonderful world we live in. BTW, those who appreciate snark may enjoy Taibbi's epic takedown of Friedman's latest book.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Let's Not Get Bogged Down Arguing About Who Committed War Crimes Against Who

By Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel

In the fog of war, it can be difficult to keep a sense of proportion. Unless one keeps a cool head, it is all too easy to react impulsively to flawed information; to misread the situation on the ground or to bomb one's third United Nations installation in two years while giving the finger to anyone who objects.

At a confusing time such as this it is important to be measured and rational, and to not get bogged down in arguments about who committed war crimes against who.

Our nation faces a grave and gathering threat from a number of powerful and aggressive enemies and it is for this reason that, with one eye on the upcoming election, I have ordered our military forces to mount a series of heroic attacks upon the one least able to defend itself.

Even now, the sons and daughters of Israel are showing Hamas that there is no hiding place from justice, and showing everyone else in Gaza that there is no hiding place anywhere within fifty feet of justice either. The Palestinians will learn that terrorism is futile and counterproductive, and also that trying to fire a home-made rocket launcher when you don't have any arms is even more futile and counterproductive.

For make no mistake, Hamas have made their intentions clear, and they intend to murder every citizen of the state of Israel. My fellow cabinet members and I are, of course, aware that they might as well threaten to paint every house in Tel Aviv purple and pink with a fourteen-mile-long paintbrush, but it's the thought that counts, isn't it?

I say to you, let us not spend a moment longer concerning ourselves with unrealistic talk of "proportionality". For what is this "proportionality", but a strict legal requirement that states refrain from deliberately bombarding heavily populated urban areas and inflicting massive civilian casualties with no clear military objective? People who would speak of such niceties in times of war do not live with the daily threat of losing an election or an having an incoming pinko American President withdraw their massive military aid budget.

In summary, many of you will have heard the criticism that other nations have heaped upon our small, yet heavily-armed and extremely belligerent nation. Thus has it been throughout the history of Israel that, no sooner have we cracked open a can of hi-tech whoop-ass on people who can't shoot back, such mealy-mouthed quibbles have inevitably arisen.

I urge all of my fellow citizens to close their ears to their lies, their propaganda and their probably-not-entirely-disingenuous accusations of atrocities and war crimes. I am sure that I need not remind any of you of the many war crimes and atrocities that our enemies have committed against us, nor the horrors that they would inflict given the mere opportunity.

It is with that in mind that I say to you that, by strict Nuremburg principles, my colleagues and I would probably soon be seeing the inside of a prison cell at least, and that the leaders of our enemies would most certainly be incarcerated alongside us... Nonetheless, we are still entitled to bomb whoever we like, whenever we like, and anyone who disagrees can suck my fat one, especially that porky little tosser Ban Ki-Moon.

Thank you for your time.

Monday, January 12, 2009

One Last Time, With Feeling


Congratulations are in order to George W. Bush, who today managed to sign off on his catastrophic Presidency without accidentally stuffing his trousers full of hot dogs or choking on his footwear. By the slapstick standards that have been the hallmark of his Benny Hill administration, Bush's demented toddler routine this afternoon was a triumph.

It's impossible to predict how history will remember W. - most likely as the man whose disastrous fiscal and foreign policies delivered such a stiff boot to the testicles of the mighty American Empire that it may never recover, or maybe as an efficient, if comical, mechanism for legalising the larceny of his royal court.

Heller said of Kissinger that he will not be recalled in history as a Bismarck, Metternich or Castlereagh, but as an odious schlump who made war gladly.

Well, Bush wasn't even a Kissinger, and more of a buffoon than a Bismarck; more a moron than a Metternich and more a clown than a Castlereagh. Nonetheless, his supporters couldn't fault him for the gladness of his warmaking or the odiousness of his schlumping. Between them, the religious loons, the Risk-playing professorial war nerds and the deregulatory thieves who put him in power have seen their creeds leave half the planet in flames and the other half in open revolt against the system that their predecessors so carefully constructed.

In the end, I think the Americans can count themselves lucky that they didn't all wind up living on canned food and radioactive cockroaches while renting their orifices to the Russians, but I doubt that will cheer them up much.

Watching George W.'s limousine putter off down Pennsylvania Avenue just might, though, especially when the doors fall off, seventeen Exxon Mobil executives pile out clad in bright shirts and red noses, then start honking little horns and kicking each other up the arse.

So cheerio George... I think I can speak for ninety percent of the planet's population when I say that your departure hasn't come a moment too soon.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Perky Suck-Merchants And Shouty Ass-Clowns

Mein Gott, the internet is astonishingly depressing at the moment - lots of people hauling out old copies of Stalingrad to mine for historical atrocities, with the explicit aim of shouting No, YOU are more of a Nazi at people they've never met.

Well, I'm almost Godwinned out, but it occurs to me that there's one obvious gang of megafuhrers that have so far escaped the attention of the blog-world's amateur Weisenthals - and that's Britpop bands.

I note this because Auteurs and Black Box Recorder musician Luke Haines has released a book casting some much-deserved and long-overdue calumny over the Britpop era.

For furriners, Britpop was a hugely annoying national circlejerk in the 1990s, during which the streets of Scotland filled with parka-clad wannabe-wide-boys, shouting at each other in affected Mancunian accents about their favourite model of moped. The nation's record companies and media, smelling money in the air, jumped in with both feet and before we knew where we were, we were knee-deep in posing, preening Nathan Barley bastards bleating out half-arsed Kinks rip-offs.

It wasn't all bad, of course, as the movement's leading lights - Blur, Oasis, Pulp, Supergrass and Elastica (at a push) - could all scrape together about an album's worth of good songs. The fashion may have made guys look like Animal from the Muppets after a week on the Buckfast, but it was pretty fetching on teenage girls*. And, I suppose, it introduced a lot of people to a lot of great bands they'd never have heard of if Noel Gallacher hadn't mentioned them.

The problem was the same as the Seattle thing before it - a shower of gurning no-marks and flick-haired shitehawks rode the coattails of the stars into the national consciousness with predictably horrific results. One of the few things I'm grateful to Tony Blair and New Labour for is that their attempt to jump on the Britpop bandwagon caused it to instantly crash and burn.

To those a little older or younger than I, this entire passage of musical criminology probably passed you by. Certainly, I can't recall the last time anyone tried to lend me a Shed Seven album, but back in 1996 I was beating the bloody things away with a tennis racquet... So, as small service to pop justice, let us expose these perky suck-merchants to the glare of posterity. To musical Hell with you, shouty ass-clowns!

*I was eighteen at the time, before you say anything. These days, I'm more into rattly-bumping with dirty grannies.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Shock Headline Of The Day

90% of teenagers say that everything sucks.

Lots of kids also believe that life is meaningless, which is likely a damning indictment of modern society, or something. Probably best not to mention that we live in a morally neutral universe that is utterly indifferent to our existence, and which is ultimately headed towards total extinction, then.

Hell, it's bad enough dealing with plooks and raging hormones without somebody laying that one on you.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Movie Review

Che: Part One (18)

The director makes no concessions to the audience in his latest picture - this is a no-holds barred account of the life and times of the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara that pulls no punches in its depiction of the insanity of war, politics and hallucinogenic drugs.

Right from the start, the viewer is pitched into the Cuban revolutionaries' march on Havana. Liberties are taken - I believe that Guevara and Castro may have made their triumphant entrance in a small tank, and not in a 1971 Cadillac Eldorado loaded with mescaline, ether and blotter acid - but from the moment the audience sees the giant bat attack, Che holds the viewer tight in its vice-like grip.

Seldom can the vibrant heart of Havana have been depicted so garishly, as we see the protagonists liberate the city's mob-owned casinos for the Cuban people. We are shown the depravity of capitalism itself, as represented by a riot of visual metaphors, from the melting and blending fixtures and fittings to the depiction of the Cuban bourgoisie as giant lizards. In a move that may surprise some of his many devotees, Guevara himself is at one point shown as a giant, horned demon with a hairy back covered in tits.

It is to the director's credit that he doesn't dwell on dense political theory, instead lightening the tone with whimsical asides and extended LSD and vodka binges. Benicio Del Toro is electric as the scotch-quaffing, chain-smoking drug-fiend Guevara, but the real star of the show is Johnny Depp as Fidel Castro, shorn of his trademark beard and cigar, running only on adrenaline and cocaine, trying to hold the revolution together even as the weasels are closing in.

Unrelenting and never less than hilarious, this is a savage journey into the heart of the revolutionary dream.

*****
Dir. T. Gilliam
Runtime - 118 mins.