Monthly Archives: April 2011

I am not glad Jim Henson is dead

What is it about Jim Henson’s (and latterly his Workshop’s) puppets that’s so bloody brilliant? Regardless of what production you see them in you can always tell they’ve got the Henson name attached somewhere. There’s a warmth in the detail on the characters that really resonates with me (and a few other people).

Well, apart from the Gelfling twats in Dark Crystal. They just look shitty and bland.

It sort of makes me wish I had any talent whatsoever when it comes to… I don’t know – puppetry? Designing characters for 80s fantasy films and kids TV shows? Fronting a campaign to see a revival of Dinosaurs? I have no idea. It just makes me wonder what it would be like to have a part in making such timeless creations.

And the Gelflings.

I’ll get bored of this train of thought within the next hour or so, I’m sure. Match Of The Day is on soon anyway. But while I’m still thinking along these lines I think I might go and create some puppets. Here is a drawing of my first creation, named BUSEY:

I think it’s pretty easy to tell what sort of films I’ve been watching recently. Also: that I’m really talented.

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Amsterdam: the definitive review (7/10)

I used the term “den of iniquity” quite a lot while in Amsterdam, which was odd. Not because it isn’t one, more because it is one but not in the places we were while I was using the term. And what came as a mild surprise, raised as I have been on a diet of having “AMSTERDAM IS A DEN OF INIQUITY” shoved down my throat, is how easy it is to get away from said dens of iniquity in order to be able to describe these other areas as dens of iniquity.

Ya dig?

And this isn’t just a subtle manner in which to throw my parents off the scent (seeing as they both read this) – we actually walked through the red light district once, and it made me feel creepy. In the wrong way. It made me sad. In the wrong way. And it made me feel quite wrong. In the wrong way.

But you know what? I’m glad it exists. Other places could learn from it (see: The Wire’s Hamsterdam; easily one of the best storylines in the whole series). It is indeed a den of iniquity, but it’s clearly signposted as such, you’re warned what will be there and as a result of its regulated…ness it isn’t anywhere near as seedy and crime-ridden as you might think.

Though admittedly I only spent about ten minutes there, so I could well be talking All The Shit.

Anyway, when we were spending our time outside these dens of iniquity we managed to come to a group realisation: Amsterdam is genuinely quite brilliant. It’s pretty, obviously, it’s small enough to get around by foot – but easily navigable by tram if you can be bothered, it’s fun trying to not get hit by cyclists, it’s no more expensive than any other major European city and it feels a whole lot more laid back than anywhere else I’ve ever been. Bar maybe San Francisco.

Plus there’s the gay pub that does a full English breakfast with “two big, thick sausages” on it. Jack did so desperately want one from there.

Anyway, well done The Netherlands.



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Labyrinth, or: how to annoy someone for 20+ years

I will never for the life of me understand this here point that is never addressed in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: why David Bowie has such a big crotch.

No, wait – not that one. The other point. Ah yes, I remember: during the Bog Of Eternal Stench scene, whaserface and her cohorts have to cross said bog (which produces an eternal stench). To do so, Bianca from Eastenders does that rock song she does to make some boulders rise out from below the waters. Fair enough.

But surely, on crossing said newly-rised rocks, there would be residual stench passing over from the water left on them, thus making Jennifer Connelly’s shoes and the feet of all the others smell forever. In the words of Walter Sobchak: am I wrong? Am I wrong?

Calmer than you are, Dude. Calmer than you are.

Having just watched Labyrinth for about the three billionth time in my life I can safely say this is one of the things I thought of as a child and have never quite managed to get out of my head. It just makes no sense. I mean, the exposition leading up to the Bog puts you in no doubt: coming into contact with the stinky water (not a euphemism) will make whatever it is that touches it smell forever.

Yet no mention is made of Jen-Jen’s farty shoes, the dog’s honking paws or Ludo’s massive, shit-stenched, oafish feet. It sets up the logic then immediately contradicts it.

I’m going to write my complaints to Jim Henson himself, see what he has to say about it.

Oh, yeah. Forgot about that miniscule detail. Stupid dead bastard.

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The Indiana Jones movies are all stupid. GET OVAAAH IT.

Indiana Jones is on, so why not get annoyed at people’s opinions about Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull? Yeah, that’ll do.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark has a casket full of spirits that melt the faces of Nazis. Running away from a giant boulder – think about it, it’s stupid. Umm.. alright, Raiders isn’t actually that bad for silly things. There probably is still a few I’ve forgotten.

In Temple Of Doom Indy hides behind a rolling gong from a hail of machine gun fire, dives out of a window through a bunch of canopies and eventually lands in the back of a car being driven by a small child. He then goes on to, along with his companions, jump out of a plane using a boat as a parachute (and then, when it lands, as a toboggan. Oh, and as a boat). Monkey brain soup, or whatever it is.

Oh, and a man takes another man’s heart out by going “oh numshi bai” a lot. Mustn’t forget that bit. There’s more, but I can’t remember them.

The Last Crusade has a man who has been alive for a thousand years on it. A man chooses poorly and turns into an exploding skellington. Sean Connery is Indiana Jones’ dad. The plane crashing through the tunnel, when the pilot looks at Indy and pa driving next to him. Indy’s Scottish accent (only slightly more Scottish than a particularly patriotic, born-and-raised Nigerian man). The pen being mightier than the sword. Shooting three blokes with one shot from a revolver.

Oh, and the whole ‘Jesus being real’ thing. And again, more I don’t remember.

I’m not saying Kingdom is a great film, though I did enjoy it. I’m just wondering why perspective takes a backseat when it comes to people forming their stupid opinions on things. The Indy films are flights of fantasy, and it seems in the however many years between Crusade and Kingdom people seemed to forget this and think the original trilogy was made up of documentaries.

And the next person to complain about aliens being in the film gets the first punch of the day.

I’m going to watch Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull now, and I’m going to CHEER and WHOOP when Shiny Le Beef swings through the trees with the monkeys. See how that makes you feel.


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Break de rooteen

I did not manage 365 consecutive entries last year in this whole blogging malarkey. Well, I did. What I mean is I didn’t manage 365 consecutive days. I probably could just have said that from the start but it wouldn’t fill up as much space as this rambling intro does, so there you go.

Anyway, even though I didn’t do all the days in a row, I still did pretty well. Now, however, I feel I have faltered quite heavily by buggering off for a week. Instead of missing a day, or maybe even two, I simply did not do anything for seven days. For no good reason.

Well, apart from the fact I had nothing I could write on and I had no way of connecting to any internet to upload anything*. Life is over. It’s too much. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. It’s all gone Pete Tong. We’re all going to die. There’s no point to any of this. Etc. Etc. Etc.

As such I have decided to tend my resignation and quit One A Day. There’s just no point in trying to rescue it after I’ve gone so horribly off-piste.

Well, that’s bollocks actually. I’m not quitting. I’m just filling in more space as I’m quite tired right now. Oh, and I’m less motivated to write anything because of aforementioned tiredness, hence reticence to even think about writing more shit today.


*Massive lie; I could clearly have done it all if I was bothered enough.

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Leeeeavin’, on a Eurostar

Tomorrow I be going to Belgium to attend a festival of the musical type. This will be my first attendance at a festival of the musical type since 2005, I think. Apart from PrestFest, where I worked and saw Speedway and Mark Owen and got to lift lots of crates of beer and got a tip of £1 that disappeared. Bastards.

But yes, I will be attending Groezrock with some chums, where we will watch some bands and eat waffles and French fries or something. And drink trappist beers, or something part II. I fully intend to act like my 17-year-old self, as I did when I used to go to the Leeds Festival on a yearly basis.

What this means is I will be sitting quietly, being annoyed that I’m not more comfortable than I am. No matter how much I wash myself I will feel unclean. I will drink too much but never get good drunk. I will buy shitty food that costs more than it should… well, maybe not that as it’s not in the UK so might not be so fucking expensive.

Basically I will be boring, like I was when I was 17. Then to Amsterdam, where pretty much the same thing will happen but with marginally more comfort and for a bit longer.

Yes, this is a phoned-in entry, but that’s because I’m packing. And here’s the rub: I won’t be blogging for a week as a result of all this. I’m a crafty veteran of this One A Day malarkey, so I’m allowed to change the rules to fit me. FACE.


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My political career starts… NOW

I’ve decided I dislike Conor Burns, my local Tory MP, because his newsletters annoy me. And he looks like a potato. And he comes across as a total spineless yes man with all the credibility of a discredited whelk. And (back to the newsletter) he has things like this under the ‘what Conor has done since the last update’ part:

“Met with Neil Vaughn and PhD supervisor Dr Venky Dubey to discuss the importance of supporting scientific research.”

Seriously. Absolute twattism of the highest order, as if it’s impressive that he supports the fact that one of the most important things in the entire history of humanity is important. Absolute thundercunt. Meaning I’ve decided I’m going to run to be a local MP – I just need something like £500 and 100 signatures, so yeah, get on that. Someone give me £500 and 100 of you sign the thing I haven’t written yet.

Anyway, here’s some of the main points I will campaign on:

Science is shit
I have to take a stand against my opponent, even if that means contriving reasons to do so. As such I have to go against what I actually think – getting straight into the politician spirit – and saying science is actually a pile of anus. Take that, Burns.

Closer ties with North Korea
I don’t mean on a national level, I just mean in Bournemouth West. I would suggest we could send all the idiots with stupid accents from around here over there to… I don’t know… build shit. And they could send us some of Kim Jong Il’s DVD collection, so I’d have some more films to watch. Makes sense. Also: make Bournemouth a nuclear power, with my finger on the trigger.

More schools and money and shit for everyone, apart from rich people
Rich people only don’t get stuff because I hate them, not because they already have money. And I think everyone needs money and school and shit, so they should all get it. We’ll get Kimmy boy to send over some cash to fun it. Or sell a few nukes.

Free dogs for the well behaved
In order to convince you all dogs are better than people.

Free women for me
Self-explanatory, really.

Vote for Ian!

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I don’t particularly care much for the royal family. Am I supposed to upper caseify that? I don’t care, because I’m totally like a rebel and shit. This whole bollocks about the wedding is, as I’m sure to many other people, nothing of actual interest – it’s just a free day off.

It’s bollocks that we’re meant to actually care about this in any real way, and it’s naturally just being used as a marketing ploy by every fucking snake in the grass marketing prick in the world.

Though I do want some royal wedding tat. You know where to send it, kids.

But I’m not completely against them there royals existing. I mean, I see very little point in them beyond encouraging tourism. I do not buy into the notion of tradition at all, but then that’s just crazy old me and my wacky ways of not… buying into the whole notion of tradition.

Traditions change, after all, so why are any traditions more important than others? Why are ones still ongoing more important than ones that were forgotten? It’s an arbitrary value judgement on something that – a lot of the time – just doesn’t matter.

I put the royal family in that bracket. But I don’t actively want them to disappear, unless they do something I really disagree with*.

Still, it’s not like I care enough to demand they are dissolved and/or killed. Plus my Union Flag with a picture of the Queen on it was one of the best things I have ever bought for any of my rooms. Gentlemen: the Queen!

Yes, I’m watching that thing on Channel 4 right now. And yes, it’s rubbish.

*Harry dressing as a Nazi was funny, as is most of the stuff Prince Phillip says.

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Some non-thought anti-entry that mentions skiing

Just turned BBC2 on and there was something about some blokes – LADS – doing some kind of winter sports thing. I have no idea what it was, though my powers have lead me to believe it was some kind of winter sports thing. It didn’t look twatty, and actually made me smirk at one point in the brief time I saw it. Yet I still reacted negatively to it. Because it was some kind of winter sports thing, which makes me think of things like skiing, which gives me an irrational hate-reaction.

Anyone else get that kind of instant reaction when they think, hear or smell about skiing? Or snowboarding? Or any of those other middle class pursuits you were never involved in as a child because you had to holiday in the Costa Del Cheap and you’re definitely not jealous of skiing nor do you think the people who go skiing a lot are the kind of people you tend to… oh.

I’ll stop that.

I’ve never been skiing. I have no real urge to, as I have weak knees and a weak ankle. Also because I hate people who go skiing… no, I mean… I don’t hate. The other thing. Oh, I don’t know. I have a headache.

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Funny or die

I have odd personality quirks. This may not come as a surprise if you are human, seeing as we all have odd personality quirks. Apart from the terminal dullards out there who should probably just kill themselves and give us people with something going on in our heads a bit more room to be ‘unique’ (‘unique’ often translates as ‘twatty’).

Alright, maybe not kill themselves, that’s a bit far. Just chop a hand off or something, then at least you’ve got an interesting story to tell people. Get a hook too. Double-story. Thank me later.

Anyway, one thing about my personality, beyond the shocking lack of confidence, the oft-unbridled aggression based on the smallest of provocation, the inability to take most things seriously and the massive ability to get repeatedly dumped for no good god damn reason is that I think I am funny. I do. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I know I’m funny. But that’s not actually the thing – the thing is as follows: if you do not laugh at what I say, I am very likely to out and out dislike you.

I don’t mean you have to laugh at every word, or even 23% of my japist wit. A snigger or a smirk lets you off the hook. I notice. I remember. And if you sit there stony faced I simply do not like you. Why? I don’t actually know, but I’m willing to bet it’s because it makes you come across as either humourless (meaning you actually might as well be dead) or too thick to get what I’m on about (see previous parenthesis for solution to this problem).

Yes, I’m actually being mildly arrogant here. Let me run with it for once. I’m aware it’s a bit weird, but there you go. Weirdness is interesting, so fuck you you judgemental twerps.


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