| Loony Tunes
Saturday, April 30, 2005
"Things can only get better" © P. Mandelson 1997.
"Heartlands" © W.Hague 2001. [ Composer M. Batt - him off the wombles ].
"The Loony Hat Of Friendship" © The Official Monster Raving Loony Party 2005 [ Composer Colonel Cocoa-Bean ]
For me, the election finally came alive yesterday with the arrival of a pink photcopied leaflet through my door. Far from being another bleedin takeaway flyer as suspected, this was an official election communciation with a difference. A few headlines:
Income Tax will be abolished and will be replaced by lending the government a bob or two when we are skint and putting any left over on a horse running in the 3.30 at Haydock Park.
We will issue a 99p coin to save on change.
Tax credits will be paid to nice people only.
All future Deputy Prime Ministers must be fluent in at least one language.
Pensioners will get £2000 a week if they don't bore people with talking about the past.
Caravans will pay the same amount of road tax as cars.
All weapons of mass destruction will be highly visible so that we know where they are.
Any other policies you want us to implement will be seriously considered.
This is the most interesting and entertaining election leaflet I've ever read. Having read these policies I was drawn to learn more. Nothing short term about this lot as a glance at their website reveals:
"Not wishing to be caught out by allegations that we don't think our policies through in terms of what future impact they might have, our resident clairvoyant, Lady Florence Flederkuch has gazed into her crystal top hat and helped The Flying Pasty set Loony policy for 550 years' time. Now that's forward planning."
Another bright idea is to rename number 10 Downing St to 10 and 6 Downing Street.
The founder of the OMRLP, Lord Sutch, lost more elections than anyone else in the UK's political history, and to this day remains the longest-serving party leader ever - even though he died in 1999.
My own candidate once worked for the Muppet Show. Jim Henson once told him that he could be trusted to produce illustrations to his high standards because he "thought like a muppet". What more could you want from your MP?
The economy is safe in their hands too. "A Loony Government will introduce a new system of currency to run alongside Sterling. It will involve a process based on bartering, using chickens. Internet shopping will become slightly more difficult if using chickens, but the problem is not insurmountable. We propose a system that will involve using squadrons of carrier pigeons, strapped together in a harness, to fly coops full of the required number of chickens, to the supplier of the goods you have purchased. However, the slight problem there is that several pigeons harnessed together might argue about the best direction to take. Therefore we propose to train pigs to fly to lead the squadrons of carrier pigeons. This will improve unemployment as many pig trainers will be required as getting pigs to fly isn't at all easy. Pigs will be fitted with spoilers and go-faster stripes in order to make them more streamlined (if they can be bred like this, then that makes everything more efficient). The go-faster stripes will have the added advantage of making all bacon streaky."
Not sure how this will go down with vegetarian voters but it makes a refreshing change from endless arguments about the Euro. I'm very tempted to vote Loony - which probably says a lot about me.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 6:38 PM
Friday, April 29, 2005
Did you know that Smurf is a politically correct word used to describe a despondent Communist?
Can you guess what thighbrows are?
If I asked you to 'keep toot while I twock this gadgy`s hand bag' - would you know what I wanted?
Would you want to be a yam-yam?
I saw a review a while back for The Dictionary of Playground Slang. [ Amazon: 9 used from £2.73 ] Liking to keep myself under the illusion that I know what's going on in the world I thought it would be worth a look. However, I've a room full of books I bought because I thought they'd be worth a look. [ 'Teach yourself nuclear physics' anyone? Or maybe Delia Smith's One is Fun! - it isn't. ] I therefore resisted the temptation to oneclick purchase and being mingey [as I am], I thought I'd hunt around online to see if I could gank some of it for nada. I was over the moon harry to find the Online Dictionary of Playground Slang - the website on which the book is based. This is packed with over three thousand gems of [reasonably] contemporary slang. Some of which I recognised, a lot of which I didn't. It's an interesting snapshot of the obsessions of youth - at least the youth that can be bothered to submit entries to an online dictionary. [ mainly male I suspect ] Predictably it's packed with euphemistic eructations of sexual and excretory goings-on and an unhealthy obsession with homosexuality. [Public schools eh?] Most interestingly it conjures up a half remembered world of when inventive infringements of rules brought unbridled delight. For example, singing the hymn, "The land is yours oh God, You nourish it with rain." is subversively transexcremented. It's a glimpse into an off pat world of instant judgements, insults, cruelty and sharp wit that, probably even moreso today, constitutes the world of the young. It's fresh, it's naughty, it's the badger.
Favourite entry: purple nurple - don't try this at home - well if you insist..
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:59 PM
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:01 AM
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Say what you like about the Soviet Union - they certainly knew how to do metro stations. Bee Flowers' website has some seriously stunning images of the Moscow metro. They are so detailed. Makes me want to go and see the real thing. Give yourself plenty of time to see them all - superb.
..is the name of a series of short Radio 4 programmes.
The first one is about the design of British roadsigns and features interviews with Jock Kinnear and Margaret Calvert, the designers of the majority of signs in use today together with the classic 'transport' typface - which geeks can download from here.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:18 AM
Monday, April 25, 2005
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 1:12 PM
Sunday, April 24, 2005
What a slogan. Our political philosophy: The Bleedin Obvious.Been a bit busy
How about, 'Up not down' or 'Left not right'; see - anyone can do it. All you need to do is imagine yourself giving directions to P. Mandelson as you navigate him away from your house [ perhaps not ].
Lets face it, the election campaign is as dull as a papal orgy staffed by the handmaidens of Ann Widdecombe.
[ 'Mineral water for me Sister, I'm meditating on the sacred mysteries of the ringbinder' ]
The Labour campaign, especially, has aspired to previously unseen levels of tedium:
Endless footage of TB surrounded by 'hardworking British families' [ ie paid rejects from Eastenders central casting and what about all us slackers - don't we get a look in? ]
Tony n Gordie in their floodlit flat at breakfast not drinking their identical orangejuice or eating their Allbran - Tony seated at left [ the power position ] reminding Gordy of how far they've come together - puhleese.
Prunella Scales reminding us that the NHS used to be great - never mind that her name sounds like a nasty skin complaint, never mind that we'd all be looking like this if the NHS had not been
Everyone 'not taking the British electorate for granted' whilst simultaneously ignoring most of it whilst they desperately target the few thousand marginal voters that will swing it for them.
Yes - we need something new, fresh and different.
That's why I recommend a radical haircut for all - I've already had mine.
"Let us trim our hair in accordance with Socialist lifestyle.
Long hair consumes a great deal of nutrition and could thus rob the brain of energy.
Tidy attire is important in repelling the enemies' manoeuvres to infiltrate corrupt capitalist ideas and lifestyle and establishing the socialist lifestyle of the military-first era."
I'm already feeling the effects. Yesterday I was so energised I fell asleep over my keyboard and ended up missing the second part of the Dr Who story I'd been waiting all week to see. Long live the revolution.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:01 PM
Friday, April 22, 2005
Tuesday 3.30am:The Poor Judgement
Awoke after 4 hours sleep and had to get out of bed. Why do airports open so early? - can't they sleep? Must be all that loud engine noise in the back garden. Why do you have to check in about 2 days before your flight? Why do they insist on asking you if you've packed any or all of the 52 prohibited items pictured on the flashcard that you can barely focus on - such is the disorientation of your body clock - let alone understand? [How many methane breathing scuba divers do you know? NB No cutlery allowed in the cabin - teaspoons must be checked in as part of your hold luggage.] Why do they herd you into a departure 'lounge' which is no bigger than a hamster's gusset and then tell you the flight is delayed because they are 'cleaning the plane'? Can't they get up a bit earlier to do the shake n vac? All this and an in-flight cup of freshly brewed tea-style chemobeverage [£1.60 - sorry no change to give you, we don't take credit cards]. Low cost airlines - they're so
Picnicking and drinking champagne beside the Seine overlooking Notre Dame. [Damn I forgot to pack the cutlery.] Engage in weird conversation with mad wandering Frenchman who, I think, is trying to explain that the French Finance Minister is driving past in a speedboat dressed in full Scuba gear. [No methane canisters can be seen]. I offer him some peanuts - he declines and stares into the middle distance.
Deposit decomposing camembert into waste bin adjacent to Eiffel Tower. Watch from a distance as security staff cordon off and evacuate the area. French Finance Minister arrives in Scuba gear to supervise the operation.
Sleep late. Have haircut.
4 hour meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeting.
We discuss fascist imagery amongst other things.
Had to see a man about a blog. I think I may have scared him with my haircut.
Sit in a cold airless room with a retired psychiatrist who talks endlessly about railway stations in Albania for nearly two hours. Lose will to live and go home to update blog.
See - I told you
'New Pope condemns gay bill'. "The credit card statement shows a mysterious entry from www.eccliasticalescorts.com" - time for an inquisition.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 1:00 PM
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Lock a load of old blokes in a Church with some scary pictures and expect them to get radical? Why is anyone surprised they elected a conservative 78 year old German with rottweiler tendencies? I've sort of given up on radical transformation in Catholicland. It's clear it's going to take more than death, alienation and apathy to shake it up, bring it to it's senses and make it meaningful to the Disaffected Ones. The reaction to the death of JPII has left lasting images in many minds. I'm not getting good vatican vibes from the new man.The Last Judgement
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:27 PM
Monday, April 18, 2005
I decided to get up early as, by all accounts, the queues worsen towards lunchtime. Sure enough as I made my way through ancient streets towards the entrance there was a queue to join the queue which was comprised of people of all ages, colours and sizes. Snippets of conversations in various languages floated past and every now and again a sad little figure would jostle through the queue begging money. One woman exposed her revolting head wound to the tourists, hoping to provoke pity. In such confined quarters they, instead, mainly backed away in horror. The queue moved slowly. After about an hour we turned the corner to catch site of the entrance and an audible gasp of excitement rippled through the mass. My neighbours, all German, had been conducting periodic roll-calls every so often as we waited and one by one they had all contrived to push ahead of me with their incremental jostling. I cared not because I knew what lay ahead. Any small advantage gained by them outside would quickly be lost once inside. I knew where I was going and they, I had learned whilst eavesdropping on them for an hour, did not.In other news
Finally I was in. Money paid, through the barrier, Germans left floundering with their group ticket shenanigans. I was off. Opening time had been 15 minutes previous. I calculated I had another 15 before my destination would be full to bursting and any hope of a meaningful experience would be lost in the swirling hordes now streaming through the ticket barriers behind me.
A brisk trot was called for. Thousands upon thousands of yards of corridors formed my route. Past ancient treasures that stretched away into the distance in adjoining rooms. Past enticing windows framing stunning vistas on to lush gardens. Through beautiful courtyards graced by classical statues and charming fountains that caught the glancing light from the full sun. Disapproving looks from bored attendants as I hurried past on my way. I entered the final labyrinth. The signs directed me through a door onto a metal gantry which ran high up along the outside of the building and then in through another door, through a dark, cramped anti-chamber, down some stairs to a small door on the left. I could hear a buzz of echoing conversation as I neared the door. I reached the bottom of the stairs stepped through the doorway, turned to face the wall through which I had just passed and looked up.
The most famous wall painting in the world was ten feet away.
Something to muse upon as one sits and ponders who to elect as the 'nearest thing to God on earth'.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 5:13 PM
Sunday, April 17, 2005
"There were articles about how to treat lip sores with ear wax. How to cure yourself of the flu by rubbing cottage cheese and onion into your feet. And how to stop smoking, by mixing tobacco with powdered crab and taking a quick puff." There's no NHS in Russia.Campain
"A 1969 tapestry of the Royal family was thrown overboard in mid-Atlantic and portrait of the Queen badly damaged." The taste police go cruising.
Victorian zombies go large in Cardiff. [ No it's not a new Tory campaign ]
California - home to living plastic and motorised Mona Lisas.
Summer's coming and it's time to get with the cool threads.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 8:38 PM
Saturday, April 16, 2005
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:57 PM
Thursday, April 14, 2005
I've been doing a spot of bignjuicy photography today. Check back tomorrow for a sample. It's been a bright sunny afternoon with a nice sunset this evening. As I'd spent most of the day staring at one particular object I decided it was time to get out for a walk. I think I must have switched on a different part of my brain with the photography because all I could look at were the effects of light on everything. The grass looked so greeeeeen and juiceeee. There's a lot of blossom starting to show on the trees and it was oh so fluffy against the sky which was rather lush with a sunset powder pink, blue and grey combo and swirly clouds aplenty. I was soaking it all up and it eased my headache caused by staring into a hot viewfinder for most of the afternoon. This evening I've been printing the results of my labours and I'm very very happy with it. Computers are great when they work eh?
My current theory is that it takes a national crisis for us to get fired up about an election. It's just not happening is it? All the same old stuff is being recycled by all the parties and most people either don't understand it or don't care. We are becoming a 'post-democratic' society in that, because we're largely disconnected from the political process, we don't see it's purpose. Things just seem to go along and we go along with them. When the irritation with one party becomes too much we switch.
It's very sad. Generations before us would castigate us for our apathy.
I've got a present craving for Eccles cakes.
Anyone know if they are difficult to make?
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:54 PM
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Briefly noted juxtapositionsIt's just routine
Revelation of a UK al qaeda plot on the day that Labour launch their manifesto.
TB and GB's facial expressions during the launch.
The Tory plan to finance cheap private school places for state school pupils and the establishment of a network of cheap private schools by their education advisor.
The LibDem leader becoming a daddy and the Labour leader drawing attention to his impending retirement.
The demise of a car manufacturer in labour marginal west midlands and a £6 million government loan to pay the workers wages.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:02 PM
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
I remember having long discussions with my best friend once about how I found his love of routine perplexing and alien. Regularity was the name of the game as far as he was concerned. Get up at the same time every day, eat the same breakfast at the same time, work for a set period before taking a break during which the same drink and type of biscuit would be consumed followed by another neatly timed work slot. Lunch would then follow at 12.30pm every day and this would usually consist of something very similar to what had been consumed the previous day...The Prince is right
I'm sorry, I can't go on. Even just writing about it is making me lose the will to live. I HATE routine. Regular readers will know that although there is some predicatability about my themes there is no real logic or pattern. At least I think there isn't - but I stand prepared to be enlightened by any blog analysts out there. My belief is that this is an outer sign of an inner something - ie I HATE routine. And predicatability. Part of my psyche is tuned to the belief that routine is the enemy of invention. Invention is very important to me and it's becoming increasingly so as I get older. Somewhere I believe that invention is a manifestation of my soul. Call me a westernised individualist delusional if you like. But how individual can an individual be? Isn't our identity bound up in the choices we make? Yesterday I was reflecting on how detached from a consumer lifestyle I've become since I stopped with the nine to five. Doing that for twenty years inculcated an unspoken rationale that 'work hard - play hard' is how you go. I really hate that phrase - it's so eighties but lots of people like to splurge their 'hard earned cash' on the products and services they think will make them happy when they are not busy working. Is that all there is? It's really interesting having stepped off that particular conveyor and taking a sideways look at this. I'm nearly six months down the line and I'm still OK - the world hasn't ended and I actually feel happier than I have done in years. I'm just being me now - no shoehorning myself into other people's expectations and agendas. No routine - just how I like it.
Is routine important to you?
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:19 PM
Monday, April 11, 2005
The Royal Reinvention machine is now running at near full throttle. Levers have been levered and buttons pressed in all the right places to massage the masses into good natured acceptance of our new Queen-in-waiting.
The steady drip drip of positive media management that preceded the wedding has now turned into an insistent trickle fuelled by the new reality of a marriage certificate. Assorted celebrities, members of the 'Country Set' and Jilly Cooper have been wheeled out to tell us what a lovely person Camilla is and how horrible everyone has been to her and how she doesn't deserve it. She's not really a horse. We've been treated to plenty of footage of the Happy Couple dressed in dubious fashions and being kissed by Prince William - which apparently is a good sign. We're invited to accept the new myth that everyone deserves to be happy - even Prince Tampax. So what if he made mistakes? - he's only human.
Brian Walden, today, writes and urges us to consider, "Little is said about the frustration of his life. The endless decades he has to try and fill while waiting for a position he may never get, or be too old to occupy to his satisfaction. Monarchy is a cruel system. Do many of us really envy the Prince of Wales?" Boo hoo - what a tuff life.
None of choose when and into what circumstances we're born and few of us are born with the immense advantages and material privileges that being a British 'royal' brings. It's impossible for most of us to understand what such a life would be like. Knowing that your destiny is to be King probably does strange things to a child's mind and your perceptions of the world are filtered very differently from the people that surround you and provide the money, deference and service to sustain you throughout your life. You have access to power and resources that provide unimaginable choices. You are engendered with a sense of duty and noblesse oblige that dictate your actions and may conflict with your inner motives.
Being perceived to be at the top of the social pile carries with it a great deal of public scrutiny and criticism as well as the unqualified adoration that is deeply ingrained in large numbers of the populace. Who knows, indeed, what pressures there may be on an individual living in this way and isn't it unfair to continually criticise them?
The public, if they needed to, have almost been successfully manipulated into believing this stuff. Like the myth of Saint Diana, by this time next year Camilla will be being portrayed as a hardworking and caring member of the Royal Family. Pobably seen as a transforming influence, 'a quiet steadfast companion in stormy waters'. The very fact that I am driven to write this means I've been got at too - bastards.
I really don't want to buy it - which brings me to ask why am I wasting my time even thinking about this stuff let alone writing it. You win Charlie, again.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 10:34 PM
Saturday, April 09, 2005
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:01 AM
Friday, April 08, 2005
Simple truthsMind the gap
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 1:03 PM
Thursday, April 07, 2005
"Ooh hasn't he got a lovely smile!" - said Gladys when I showed her the Tony Blair flashcard I've been carrying for the last week.
Like all the respondents, Gladys was taken with Tony's teeth. They're one of his prime assets when it comes to polling pull I've discovered. There's a gap between the PM and his opponent Mikey Howard. The gap is in Mikey's mouth and I have to report it turns the voters off. More on that story later.
The Charlie Kennedy smile was somewhere in the middle being neither brilliant in it's flashing whiteness [ he likes to keep his teeth out of the light ] nor visually disrupted with arhythmic incisor interruptions. Gladys remarked on Charlie's chin as his most prominent feature; "He's got two", she crowed cruelly. Doreen had read in the Mirror that Charlie likes a drop - this is all she knew about him. Both ladies felt that Charlie did not smile enough; "he always looks serious" claimed Doreen.
Mikey's been rattled by Tony's toothy grin. He's been attempting to use it to make people think that Tony is smug about winning. A secret Conservative poll of 65 Cheshire cats who don't eat Whiskas revealed that 9.6 cats out of 10 want to, 'wipe that smile off Tony's smug mush'. They want to punish him for his devoted loyalty to the cause of freedom, truth and the American Way in the Warronterrr. Doreen, Gladys' pal from the Bignjuicy Washeteria and Snack Bar, thought that Mikey's gap made him look sinister, "like John Inman". Gladys asked, "he's not poofy is he?" - confusing Mr Humphreys with Mr Howard. I didn't dare show her the flashcard of Mrs Slocombe's pussy I keep for control purposes for fear of skewing my results.
Don't miss your chance of Bignjuicy immortality
The Chas n Trout pic above needs a caption for Saturday. Click to access the comment box and enjoy the entries thus far - then go one better and add your own.
The winning caption will be displayed Saturday. [ Unless date changed due to lax security, comedy terrorist hides under Charlie's kilt or cardboard bomb explodes in Camilla's handbag etc. ]
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 11:20 PM
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Something is going wrong with my brain. I think the literary circuits, such as they were, are finally giving out. I've noticed that I'm failing to miss the most obvious typographic and spelling errors that previously I would have spotted - like I've somehow become blind to them. Forgive me dear reader should you notice any. Gawd help me.
Thanks for your suggestions so far for the Chas n Trout pic above. There are some corkers. Please keep em coming. Click to access the comment box. Remember winning caption displayed on
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 7:54 PM
Monday, April 04, 2005
All suggestions gratefully received for the Chas n Trout pic above - click to access the comment box. Winning caption displayed on
Feel the burn
We always want what we can't have don't we?
Now that all has finally failed: months of visualisation therapy, facial massage, excessive shaving, electro-follicular stimulation with duracell batteries, hypnosis by qualified barbers, desperate application of miracle-gro.
I've finally come to terms with it.
I'll never have sideburns. *sob*
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 9:21 PM
Saturday, April 02, 2005
I wrote the other day about an 'end of era' feeling. It's more intense today. I didn't think I would be as affected by events as I have been. I'm not exactly a committed Catholic these days. I think my credit rating in the celestial spreadsheet is likely to be a fine shade of crimson. It wasn't always like that though - I like to think. There was a time when I was very different in my views and probably a better person although naive.What kind of fool was I?
John Paul became Pope at a very significant time in my life and I can remember it very clearly. How it came just a month after his namesake had been elected - a smiling, kindly figure who undoubtedly would have charted a very different course. We then saw this energetic, strong man beaming out to the world from the balcony overlooking St Peter's Square. Within months he was off, travelling. The austere remoteness of Paul VI eclipsed by someone who understood the media age. I saw JPII in person three times. He was a superstar. You knew you were in the presence of someone very special. Sounds cheesy but there was an aura.
No small aspect of that was his absolute conviction about what he was doing. Conviction is often an appealing quality in a person. It's easy to stand on the sidelines and mutter. It takes courage to enter the fray. But conviction is divisive - and dangerous too. Claiming that you are speaking with divine authority doesn't go down too well in a cynical secular world. Supporting and defending views that go against modern liberal ideas. Appearing to remain comfortable with beliefs that seem to alienate large portions of humanity is not an easy path. My early admiration for JPII changed over the years to a more qualified respect. I'm now uneasy with a lot of stuff to do with Catholicism and organised religions. Two things remain true with me though - belief in the ideal of the absolute dignity of the person and an unceasing striving for peace. A far from perfect Church, a far from perfect man. There aren't many public figures, let alone religious public figures of which it can be said, 'he changed the world'. On balance, I think he changed it for the better. And I didn't think I'd be writing that believe me.
freshly squeezed for you by drD at 12:01 AM
Friday, April 01, 2005