Monthly Archives: February 2012

Consolidate all your existing money into no money

I don’t mind ads for selling your gold, selling your CDs to a covetous bird that often brings misfortune (OH THE IRONING), trading in your shit*or whatever else. They’re a bit bottom of the barrel and aimed at scumbags like myself, but they’re fine – you’re selling your shit to people for a bit of cash. Not a lot, and you’re certainly being ripped off, and there are definitely ways you can make more money with a tiny little bit more effort (the excuse of “I can’t be bothered” was thrown at me so many times in CEX it’s unreal – well done, you just sold Street Fighter III on Dreamcast for £2, you monumental idiot).

But it’s not shady.

But then in the same ad breaks you’ll have things for money lenders. They explain the process, they explain how much you’ll have to pay back, the interest rate isn’t hidden – it’s quite big in the small print and none of it is anything other than above board.

But… it’s just loan sharking. Legitimised and advertised. Put a suit on it and call it a business, that kind of thing.

When a friend offers a loan, they’re unlikely to ask you pay interest on it. If they do, it’ll likely be “I’ll loan you X amount, you pay me back X+1 amount”. Fine. If a bank offers a loan, they’ll charge interest, usually around 17-30% or something, which accrues at a fairly reasonable, manageable rate.

But these things with their 1734% interest rates, with their bright lighting schemes and happy, working, middle class pretty young women deciding it’s a good idea to loan money in the short term – that’s insane. That’s some of the most blatant bullshit – if not actually outright lies – I have ever seen in any advertising, at all, ever.

Say what you want about chocolate ads and their procession of ‘if you eat chocolate all the time you’ll still be as skinny and pretty as this skinny pretty girl also all women have a secret stash of chocolate WHY DON’T YOU’ – at least they’re just asking for 60p out of you. Not 60p then 1734% interest calculated on a secondly basis and… sigh.

Today has not been a good day.

*Though gaming publishers and a lot of gamers would mind that, for they are idiots wholly against the concept of owning something and being able to do what the fuck you want with it.

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Gone

A sadness like no other – profound beyond belief and totally unexpected – came upon me of this eve. Approaching my homestead I was to believe it would be a post-work time spent like any other; seated in the favoured resting place of my buttocks, observing the day’s events with a backing of some televisual delights.

Or wrestling.

Either way, it would be nothing out of the ordinary. Unspectacular and bereft of events worth regaling the townsfolk with.

But happenstance would have its harsh way with the eve’s events, leaving a bewildered husk in the place where once was something resembling a man. He wasn’t much of a man – in fact somewhat childlike in his mannerism  – but he was, according to the laws of the local borough, a man.

And now he was less than that. And it was after he approached the cupboard. Opened that with which he used to store provisions. Reached in and pulled it out. And checked. And looked. And saw. And understood.

I have only one teabag left, and I’m totally out of coffee.

But it’s payday tomorrow, so I’m going to buy all of it. ALL OF IT. It’s a requirement, and I’ll probably die if I don’t or OH MY GOD I can buy loads off Amazon oh what a world we live in.

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I do like some TV, like this

I have sang its praises before, but it bears repeating: It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is a wonderful thing that we should thank the Lord for on a daily basis.

Oh wait, not the Lord. I don’t believe in God, or gods. Well, maybe Thor. And a bit of Odin. And Blessed. And Attenborough. But not your Judeo-Christian God. The one commonly referred to as ‘Lord’. I got a bit confused there as I was thinking about the preacher man from Friday and how he was mad as a box of hornets.

Which brings me nicely back to Sunny. I don’t have much to add beyond: it’s great, as I am tired, I am lacking in motivation right now and I don’t want to just resort to listing a ton of my favourite bits. Safe to say I watched a couple of series while travelling up and down the country (also: to the Netherlands) over the last couple of weeks and it has reminded me.

Reminded me how great it is. Job cannon. Jobbies. Here, watch some of it:

The way he says “onesize fitsall” makes me laugh every single time. And this is the best scene of pretty much anything:

Fox is militant about its content, hence it being recorded off-screen from a TV. Ah, internet copyright laws. Bye.

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Oscars, awards, whatever: all a bag of pump

I hear it’s some kind of Oscars thing this evening. I probably wouldn’t have known this were it not for 1) my obsessive trawling of Twitter and 2) hearing some awful, awful shit about it on the radio the other day. In fact, I wouldn’t have even been listening to the radio if I wasn’t… well, you get the point. What little point there is.

Guess what my opinion on them is. Go on – guess. Hah I bet you said “oh Ian you old curmudgeon, you hate them because you think they’re an utterly inane factor in an industry bereft of good ideas, celebrating mediocrity with a round of sickening self-congratulatory back-slapping the likes of which no sane person would ever indulge in for fear of being labelled ‘an absolute prick’.

“You, Ian, who I am talking about right now, see the awards as a sickening showcase of the smug, shallow and frighteningly decadent idiots we put on a pedestal and worship in lieu of any gods we can actually be bothered to believe in these days.

“Ian, for it is you I am talking about here with these words, you think the Oscars are ‘really fucking wack’. Obviously. Because that’s the kind of person you are.”

And if you guessed that, as I’m guessing you did guess, you’d be… mostly correct. I don’t think the movie industry is entirely creatively bereft, I just feel movies awarded Oscars tend to be rather obvious, let’s say. So I don’t care for them, no. But then, I don’t care for many awards, because I don’t see the point.

Just as I don’t need to be given the strap for people to know I’m the best at what I do (I am), a good film, a good band, a good whatever doesn’t need a stupid seal of approval from a bunch of no-name gimboids appointed as decision-makers for the rest of the world. I trust my opinions, and the opinions of a select few around me. I don’t trust some twats in a room throwing around gold statues, or whatever other awards we’re talking about.

And no, this isn’t just petulant foot-stamping at the fact my trophy cabinet is still empty. No siree, not me.

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Swinton: not that shit?

Walking down the big hill from my childhood home to the train station yesterday, I felt a pang of something. I looked out to the view stretching out ahead of me: the rolling hills, green fields and huge, open expanse of country. Beautiful, someone more poetical than me might say.

I felt a pang that said to me, in not so many words: “maybe you misjudged this place. Maybe living here the first 18 years of your life coloured your judgement too negatively. Maybe being so heavily ingrained in the day-to-day grind of dealing with the people and places of this town made you think unfairly of the area around you. Maybe – just maybe – you were wrong about Swinton.”

I was in a particularly hungover, tired and otherwise bad mood, so this thought stuck with me as I sat in the windswept train station as dusk washed over the town. Even though I was staring straight  at a scrapyard, it looked… nice. It was so quiet. Bournemouth isn’t a huge place, but it’s noisy all of the time. It was weird to be somewhere without planes flying over every ten minutes and a stupid bastard living on this street who idles his stupid muscle car for ages before driving off way too fast for the residential streets we live on (and I’m definitely not jealous of his car no siree not me).

It was pretty, and it was relaxing, and I felt calm for the first time in quite a while.

I thought my opinion of my hometown might have suddenly changed; that I had hit that realisation that comes in later life when you see something isn’t as bad as you once thought.

Then I remembered that on Friday just two minutes after arriving in town I was forced to change my route home in order to avoid the behooded men attacking a parked car with a golf club.

So yeah, Swinton is still shit.

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The Vita kickstarter experiment

Right, I need to get me a PS Vita. I didn’t get one on launch day and it’s the first time I’ve missed a console launch in forever (or: about 12 years). As such my nerd-cred has taken a pounding, as well as the fact that I do not have Everybody’s Golf.

I have to restate that just to try and put across how much this wounds me: I. Do. Not. Have. Everybody’s. Golf.

Shameful. Shocking. Shitty. This has to be remedied.

Unfortunately things cost money. Fortunately I can make money appear by either selling things or doing things. As such I am going to sell things and offer my services to the world as a whole in order to make more money to be able to buy one.

Note: I am not being a whore. I would make too much money doing that, after all.

Services rendered are as follows:

Snarky comment
I will provide you with one (1) snarky comment a day for a total of seven (7) days. You are free to use this comment as you see fit – probably to fling at someone in an insulting, derisive fashion. PRICE: £25

Chips
I will post you some chips. I might have eaten some, some might not have been cooked, some might be in their original form (“potato”). Second class post. PRICE: £34

Blog
I will write a blog about you, and even do you a special treat in the shape of a photoshopped image of you. Well, probably of me as that’s easier to do. You have no (0) say in what the blog is about, bar the fact you’ll be featured. PRICE: £250

Hammers
I don’t know. Chicks dig hammers, right? PRICE: £4

Something from my room
I have a lot of shit in my room, as well as some alright stuff. I will pick one bit of shit at “random” (it won’t be random) and send it to you. You “will” be pleased (you won’t). PRICE: £95

I think that’s a fair number of exciting services, and I’m sure I’ll have enough for a Vita within the next couple of hours. It’s like Kickstarter, only better.

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2012: still hate trains

It’s almost as if trains go out of their way to piss me off and make me moan here. I mean, this has to be about the four billionth blog I’ve done specifically about trains and Why They Are Shit. Still, it doesn’t get old and I know you all enjoy it loads and if you do think it gets old and you don’t enjoy it loads then shut up I know you’re lying.

So yesterday I was meant to get up and to catch my booked train for half 11 in the am. As I emerged from bed at 4.30pm, I was under the impression I might have missed my trains. Turns out I had – who knew? It was all fine though, through the miracle of ‘having a proper ticket for once’ it meant I could just get another train.

Simple, yeah? Yeah. Thanks, trains.

I had to get four of them, it took me about eight hours to get home and not a single one of them was on time, for one reason or another. I was on time for every one of them – apart from one, which was down to a train I was on being delayed half an hour and… oh, this isn’t funny or illuminating. It’s just straightforward complaining.

I don’t think I’ve felt sadder in recent times than yesterday, standing in a dank corner out of the way in Birmingham New Street, slowly chewing on a disgusting sandwich and avoiding drunken football fans while listening to the constant announcements of “could any members of the British Transport Police please make their way to platform X”. And that’s saying something, what with the reason I was home was for a funeral.

Travelling can be fucking shit, truth be told. It’s almost as if the train companies go out of their way to make it as shit as possible when you’re just wanting it to be as easy as possible.

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