Monthly Archives: July 2010

Lateness, and other inspired blog titles

I was properly late for the first time in this job (so the first time in just about a year, really) the other day. I turned my alarm off the day before and forgot to turn it back on. Simple, innit. Unsurprisingly, it acted as some kind of catalyst for this entry. WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK IT?

I want to be the kind of person who can say “I don’t understand lateness, or how people can be late – I’m always on time and I expect the same of everyone else”. I could actually say it, obviously, but it would be a bit of a porky pie. See, I do understand why and how people are late. Shit happens, you mis-time things, sometimes you forget, sometimes your alarm doesn’t go off. It’s understandable.

But that’s not to say I understand under any circumstances. See, I can understand running a few minutes late. I can understand being a bit later than that because of a transport issue, or an accident on the road, or a menacing racoon standing in your way. Things like that make sense. But when people are just an hour late – two hours late – for no real reason, that’s when I start getting confused and ever so slightly annoyed.

I’ve been one of these people who has been very late to something on a consistent basis, but this wasn’t social engagements with friends: it was a job. And this wasn’t any old job: it was a job I didn’t particularly care about. That’s my justification for once turning up at 2.30pm for a 9.30am start and I’m sticking with it.

But seriously – if you’re one of those people who runs an hour, two hours, three hours late to meet me somewhere then I HATE YOU. Also: get a fucking grip.

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Fireworks and the art of going BOOM! in the sky

Got halfway through this yesterday, booze, Empire Strikes Back and low battery got in the way of finishing it. Sozzer.

Think of things you loved as a child: the smell of fresh cut grass, cool, dewy morns, free cake. It was all great, clearly. One of the things a lot of young ‘uns liked seemed to be those flaming (tiny)tubes of gunpowder launched into the air for the seeming good of humanity. Or: fireworks. Those things you set fire to and watched explode. Yeah, them.

I watched some tonight – nothing amazing, just a barge on the sea throwing flaming cylinders into the sky so they can explode in a shower of coloured… stuff. It was alright, though not exactly on a par with THE BEST FIREWORKS SHOWS IN THE WORLD, like… umm… the ones I’ve never seen. It had colours, explosions and a variation in the type, colour and size of explosion that happened all over the sky. So yeah, that was alright.

Thing is, when I was a kid I was terrified of the bloody things, and I never understood how anyone could be anything but terrified. I mean, they were literally explosion shows, with explosions. Loud ones. Big bangs combined with the impending terror of another big bang never did bode well for tiny Ian.

While I’ve managed to get over that and can now successfully coo with delight at the slightest sign of any coloured explosives being launched into the sky, I do still retain some feelings of fear from my childhood. As such, if you see me flinching at a fireworks display, feel free to come over, point, laugh and say “hahaha, Ian was a child once!” BOOM!

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A public service announcement RE: GET OUT OF MY WAY

This is a follow-up to a previous public service announcement from Dransfield Industries, a subsidiary of Dransfield Incorporated, which represents parent company Dransfield Dransfield.

29 July, 2010. Bournemouth, England.

Statement begins:

PEOPLE of the world, and not just Bournemouth, lend us your ears. We here at Dransfield Industries would like to offer a warning on the basis of new information discovered recently. We were quick to ease your discomfort when it came to certain PEOPLE walking the streets who you seemed to think looked threatening when they actually weren’t, so you should probably listen to this as we know what we’re on about.

It turns out that this once-docile, friendly PERSON who wasn’t out to mug you or your families (or pets) has, in fact, turned a corner in their life and edged closer towards punching all of you “brain dead morons” (PERSON’S words, not ours) in the “stupid” face.

It seems that with the summer comes an onrush of peoples from the world over to sunny Bournemouth. There is nothing wrong with this, as both Dransfield Industries and PERSON agree – people is people, innit. But there comes a time when, in a busy high street during a time when PERSON is walking through said busy high street, you should probably get out of his way.

This warning will not be repeated by request of Dransfield Incorporated and parent company Dransfield Dransfield. If you don’t move out of PERSON’S way in future, they are liable to kill you in the head.

Statement ends.

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Birthday is mine today

Today is my birthday. I am now 27 years old. This may be quite old, or it may be quite young, or it may be neither young nor old. I don’t really know or care that much. Still, I’ve got a few birthdays under my belt so far, so I think I’m confident in my opinion that they’re… well, they’re alright actually.

It’s not like Christmas, which has been mainly shit for me, and it’s not like [INSERT OTHER OCCASION HERE] where I usually end up battling nine flaming cock(erels). Birthdays tend to be pleasant, if not downright fun. Even last year’s complete non-event was good, just because I got drunk with Anna. Pleasant. Even today is good – I’m ill and had to go to work, but I like my job and I’m not dead, plus the aforementioned Womana came down and is now cooking for me. Pleasant.

But there have been less simply pleasant times, more ‘fucking stupid’ times. Ben falling asleep at the table of the Mexican restaurant we were at because we’d been on the lash since about 10am, only to be woken up by me shoving jalapenos in his facial orifices is pretty high on that list. As was the trip my uni mates made to Swinton and Sheffield for – I think – my 19th. I fed them tinned ready meals and we were so bored we played cricket in my mate’s house in Sheff. But it was good fun in the end.

I don’t much care for ceremony, gift-giving and all that nonsense – I like it, but I’m just not a major player of the game. I just like birthdays because I’ve had fun on the vast majority of them. How could I do anything but like them?

Wow, this sounds a bit sentimental. Sorry.


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200th post spectacularrrrrrr

Well, this is post 200. Again I should reiterate that I expected to last a little over one week – seven-to-ten posts, I’d say. So it’s a phenomenal personal achievement to have managed to make it this far, even if the quality has been questionable at best. Let’s prove that statement by highlighting some of the entries from ‘the difficult second hundred’. GO:

The 101st entry was actually one I expected to get more response to, even though it got a reasonable one. What’s the matter? You all fear the fact that my opinions on comedians are clearly so much more powerful, sexy and right than yours? Go look again, anyway. Here. Or the Star Wars is shit list – have a look at that one too. List-o-rama here.

Does anyone remember the general election? I don’t. I erased it from my mind, even after this ridiculously long, self-pitying demi-rant I had about it. GO. Speaking of self-pity, why did nobody donate to this worthwhile cause? Bastards.

This made me laugh, and still does. iPad wankers. And this still makes me so ridiculously happy – to the point that I remembered it earlier and it made me do a ‘laugh out loud’. Ah, Chaddock. You massive fanny.

Dranfield’s investigative journalism hit a new high with this little ditty, which crap as it is I’m actually a tiny bit proud of. Only a tiny bit though. PORNSTARS. Whereas my investigative opinion-having seems to have paid off with regards to Futurama, which has indeed come back and has indeed turned out to still be great. Well done there.

This got six whole comments, so why not re-link? And this has Youtube videos (and amazing comedy), so why not re-link? As does this, actually.

My lovely girlfriend muscled her way into the act a few weeks ago, releasing this tirade on an unsuspecting public in what I hope was the first of a few guest blogs. So I don’t have to write as many. Is that cheating? Who knows. Whereas I soon followed it up with a shocking revelation – and I’m still not sure if I’m over it.

But my version of the McDonald’s poem, which I did the other day, is actually one of my favourite things I’ve done. I actually thought about it for more than ten minutes – yes, it isn’t amazing and could be a lot better – but it makes me laugh. And that’s all that matters.

Here’s to the next hundred. And sixty-five.

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A public service announcement RE: walking

This is a public service announcement from Dransfield Industries, a subsidiary of Dransfield Incorporated, which represents parent company Dransfield Dransfield.

26 July, 2010. Bournemouth, England.

Statement begins:

WOMEN, men, children, dogs and everything in-between are being offered advice for if a reasonably large, northern man begins walking anywhere in the vicinity of them. This man, it has been noted, is not a threat to you, your safety, your belongings or your way of life. Just because this man has decided to walk on the same stretch of pavement as you does not mean he is about to murder you most violently. Or even make eye contact.

It has been noted by Dransfield Industries that many women, men, children, dogs and everything in-between act surprised by the appearance of this man on pavements. They have been known to cross roads in what is not always – but quite clearly sometimes – a way of getting away from the man. Looks of confusion, if not genuine fear, are commonplace whenever this man comes within a certain distance of many women, men, children, dogs and everything in-between.

We at Dransfield Industries, as well as employees at Dransfield Incorporated and the management team at Dransfield Dransfield would like to offer this piece of advice to all women, men, children, dogs and everything in-between, whether they seem to fear this man or not: he is not going to hurt you in any way, shape or form. You do not need to look behind you, cross roads, eye up any nearby items that could be used as makeshift weaponry, call MI6, run away or throw a smoke bomb at the ground before vanishing. This man is not a murderer, rapist, mugger, bumper-intoer, insulter or attacker.

Dransfield Industries would like to confirm he is just a largeish man who walks quite fast. We ask that all women, men, children, dogs and everything in-between remain calm on seeing him in the streets. He is of no threat to anyone.

Statement ends.


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Everyone is entitled to (matching) opinions

I read this earlier, and it made me smile. It made me smile because it’s just nice to read sometimes that the role of the critic is supported. Part of my job is reviewing video games – offering a judgement on them – so it rang true, as this is the part of the job under the most scrutiny from seemingly everyone in the world.

All too often it seems that simply having an opinion that runs contrary to that of the general populace (i.e. Metacritic’s average rating) means risking scorn, insults, ridicule and even the ire of those that make or promote the game. I want to know why. I want to know why it is that I cannot have an opinion on something that runs against the grain; that goes against what others seem to think. It is, shockingly enough, my opinion and not that of someone else, or the general public. It is not the same as the average, it is not an opinion solely formed to appease Metacritic and it is not an opinion formed to ingratiate myself with others.

It is a critical evaluation of a product, of a piece of entertainment, arguably of a piece of art. It is not a wall to be splattered with the excess foam coming out of my mouth as I gush nothing but effusive praise in its direction, nor is it merely a porcelain receptacle made to welcome any and all shit I want to throw at it.

But I seem to be in the minority thinking this, meaning I seem to be going against the grain again. I wonder what the Metacritic opinion is on all of this.


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The Daily Star don’t bother checking facts. Fact.

This has been peppered all over the internets today, but I thought I’d have to stick my oar in as it’s something I’ve been following closely. HERE WE GO:

The other day, The Daily Star (red-top tabloid, fact fans) printed a story (you can see it here in linked form) about a new videogame, book and movie being released, all based on the shenanigans of one Raoul Moat (dead murderer, fact fans). The book, apparently, was real. The movie, no one knows. The game was said to be Grand Theft Auto: Rothbury, and was accompanied by an image purported to be the game’s cover. As this was such a shocking game to be seeing release, The Daily Star contacted the family of the girl who was shot in all that nonsense the other week, asking her grandmother what she thought of the fact a game was being made of all this. Understandably she was upset and confused by Rockstar’s (developers of the GTA series) decision.

Only it wasn’t Rockstar’s decision. It wasn’t anyone’s decision. Because it wasn’t real. Literally the second this stuff broke was the second all gamers and most people with two brain cells to rub together concluded the image of the game’s cover was a very poorly-made Photoshop, ala all of the images I put up here. Anyway, I’m getting lost in explanations and it’s boring me, so let’s cut to what I’m laughing about today.

The Daily Star have issued a hugely grovelling apology, indicating they didn’t even do anything they were supposed to do to make sure their story was in any way accurate, and that they’ve paid Rockstar money to back up this apology. Aside from the hilariously-quick turnaround, it’s one of the most straightforward and intense apologies ever seen in newspapers. Probably. It just shows what having a multi-million selling franchise that isn’t just about murdering prostitutes can do for your company with regards to the lawyers it can hire.

But there is one thing I want to know: Jerry Lawton, who wrote the story. Will he still have a job this time next week? I’m guessing yes. Papers put aside money to pay off settlement fees and journalists seem to receive little more than a slap on the wrist for simply not doing their job, even if this does involve bringing extra, completely unnecessary suffering to a grieving family member. I think the attention The Daily Star got out of this – the increase in traffic to their site and the increase in sales of the paper itself – will more than make up for what will likely be written off as a faux-pas. Lawton will carry on doing his job, nothing will happen and people complaining will eventually move on to other subjects.

I don’t do my work, I am in trouble. You work in a shop and you don’t do your job you’re in trouble. You join the army and don’t kill the people you’re told to kill you’re in trouble. You become a plumber’s apprentice and don’t plumb anything you’re in trouble. You work for the Queen and don’t bother working for the Queen you’re in trouble.

You become a journalist and don’t hold up any of the basic tenets of the profession in the slightest bit, at all, and nothing seems to happen. I hope I am proven wrong, I really do. I hope that cunt gets fired. Out of a cannon. Into the sun. Not the newspaper. This is the kind of thing that makes me sick for sometimes describing myself as a ‘journalist’.

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Dransfield for England

I have peaked. I am 27 this coming Wednesday and I have peaked. This is the time of my peaking, my peak has been reached, I have peaked. It won’t ever get any better for the rest of my life – all four years of it*. For you see, today I had the best sporting day of my life.

Hard as it may be to believe for some of the more moronic of you out there, I am not very good at sports. I’m not had-polio-as-a-child bad, nor am I can’t-run-in-a-straight-line-or-catch-or-do-anything-of-worth-while-playing-sports bad, but I’m certainly not good. But today, during the work summer party, I was the greatest I’ve ever been. Prepare yourself for the most inspiring story since Field Of Dreams.

First up, we played football. Within minutes it happened: the ball came loose, it bounced towards me, I ran towards it – I hit it, full on, perfect, aimed and directed the ball where it actually ended up going (always a good sign) and it went in off the post. It was so good I celebrated – something I never do – and promptly felt quite ashamed after doing so. All the same, I did get a round of applause from everyone playing, meaning I’m clearly the best footballer at Imagine Publishing. FACT.

Then came the running-on-a-bungie-rope game thing, where I can’t remember who won between myself and Chris (probably him, as he is a lithe little pooch), but I then devastated Darran “Retro Gamer” Jones in front of his two young daughters. The victory – and hilarity – was doubled, trebled and magnified beyond recognition as a result of his children saying “YOU SUCK!” to him as he stumbled off the bouncy thing, beaten.

THEN came bouncy castle boxing, in which I seemed to be getting punched in the head a lot by Chris. Rather than try and punch him back, as I couldn’t see through the headguard and lack of glasses, I decided to use my weight advantage – something I had purposefully built up through my life should this occasion arise – to throw him into the sides of the ring a couple of times. This may have resulted in him getting stuck and the bouncy castle breaking, which I count as a massive Dransfield victory, frankly.

FINALLY came softballroundersbaseball. A sport which some people seem to be unable to understand the simplicity of the foul ball rule, to the point that their tiny minds not grasping it lead them to lash out and call those of us that did understand it “idiots”. Ah logic, I knew thee well. Regardless, I hit a homerun (during practice) and another homerun (during the game). Also I struck out, but I also caught someone out.

So yeah, I was going to be funnier and more interesting about this, but instead I’ve just blandly relayed the facts to you. Today was the best sporting day of my life. Well done Ian.

*Heart attack while getting down to some hardcore hammock sleeping, I’m guessing. I’ve always said hammocks will be the death of me.

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Jon Snow is great, Zac Goldsmith is a plum

I am late to the party, as it were, with this one. I did actually see it until the day after it aired, but I’ve had such other pressing things to blog about I didn’t bring it up until now (either that or I forgot… I forget). Basically, I love Jon Snow:

Now, Zac Goldsmith comes across as nothing more than a chump from chumpsville who needs to chump off back to his chumpmobile before he chumps the place up any more. Which I think is a fair assessment. The constant harrying of Snow for the opening two thirds of the interview comes across as absolutely nothing more than an entitled little shit behaving in exactly the way an entitled little shit behaves: no listening to others, no taking on board what is being said and pushing forward only with what they want to push forward with.

Throw in the obvious politicking and you have a recipe for me wanting to punch someone right in the face. We’re not all as stupid as your name, Zac, and we can spot delaying tactics especially easily when they’re as blatant and ill thought-out as these were.

But then I hit an impasse. You see, he’s clearly a cock, he’s having a go at a genuine idol of mine and I have very little time for born into privilege, Eton-educated Tory fuckwits. That much cannot be argued with. But I made the mistake of looking on Zaccy boy’s Wiki page and it made me dislike him less. I mean, he’s done some quite good things and seems to appreciate some quite good causes/ideologies.

Fortunately, I soon came back to my senses: he is a poor little rich kid, (apparently) caught red-handed after doing something naughty and he is reacting in the exact way that would earn him a slap in the real world*.

Yay for late, half-baked reactions to things!

*Hahaha, as if I inhabit anything like the real world.

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