Sunday, April 29, 2007


Hello folks - I'm still in semi retirement, and it's great. I've taken up several new hobbies, canvassed for the Liberal Democrat party, bought a violin, knitted a jumper and felt the sun on my back for the first time since April 2004. It's great!

In the meantime, possibly inspired by Quinquireme and an article in today's Observer, I'm handing over the reins of the blog to Andrew Keen for this post. Andrew's much talked about book, a critique of Web 2.0, whatever the fuck that is, has driven literally half a dozen Guardian journalists into a frenzy of excitement. The Internet Is Ruining The World That I Grew Up In And I'm Going To Say Something About It, Yes, ME is published by Graber & Graber and costs £38.99.

Andrew Keen: incandescent with rage

Hello, I would like to say without further ado that I think the internet is reversing the evolutionary process.

By allowing the lower orders to express themselves, we are, in effect, heading back to the primordial swamps.

In an ideal world, the great minds of their generations - the likes of Da Vinci, Galileo, Plato and myself - would be revered, celebrated and remembered as great figures of their age. Indeed, this was always the case in the past.

Not any more.

Instead, in a metaphorical sense, we are pelted with slurry by the users of the internet.

The so called "blogging" phemomenon has brought all the scum of the sewers to the fore - the chimney sweeps, the beggars, gangs of lawless boys, orphans, pickpockets, alehouse idlers, liars, illegitimate children, foreigners and women of the night gather there to peddle their filth and abuse the great minds of the generation.

Think about it: why should one care what the man on the Clapham omnibus thinks of the Boer War? Are there not distinguished politicians who are more than capable of deciding when our fine army should return from the Veldt?

Who cares what a washerwoman from the northern counties thinks of the Votes For Women Question?

Who cares what a foulmouthed drunkard thinks of the Poverty Question?

Only the great minds of this generation - such as myself - should be entitled to have their say.

Still, things are looking up. The publishing of my book - The Internet Is Ruining The World That I Grew Up In And I'm Going To Say Something About It, Yes, ME (published by Graber & Graber, priced £38.99, available from discerning bookshops) will undoubtedly lead to a change in thinking and the vetting of everyone who uses the internet. In future it will be a forum for the good and the great, who will make this a golden age, a renaissance, as it were.

Then, people like myself will be accorded respect in the street, and the lower orders will curtsey before us and throw flowers in our path, and we will be carried around in big chairs, and people will sing hosannas in praise of us.

Yes: it will be a golden age.

Andrew Keen, April 28th 2007, Silicone Valley

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007


As this blog limps into its fourth great year, I thought I'd assess what I should and shouldn't be doing from now on.

OUT go long rambling posts, leaving too many inane comments on other people's blogs, spending long hours at the blogging coalface, getting upset if I don't get many comments, taking it all too seriously, not getting on with other stuff and definitely NO to "a beautifully realised and moving eulogy to etc., illness etc., awful upbringing etc., funeral etc., oh poor poor me, etc., wotsit" confessional posts in which I try to hint that y'know, I might be a *REAL* writer (not that there's ever been any danger of that ... I hope ...)

IN come short, easy to write and read posts, less networking, not taking it all seriously, actually getting to reading more than four books a year instead of blogging, part time blogging (ie, if I want to do three posts at once, then disappear for a month or so - then so be it), being even more stupid and superficial than before, nicking ideas from other people, spontaneity, ignoring the stalkers, nutters and abusive comments that are part and parcel of blogging ... just trying to make blogging take up less of my time. Which is the way things have been going anyway over the past few months, don't you know.

Basically, then, there will still be the same poorly written and ill thought out crap here, just less of it.

Like Val Doonican, however, I will still be using the spellcheck facility.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007


So there I was, just before Easter, sat in the garden because the weather was unusually warm for April, with the legs of my jeans rolled up so I could give the varicose veins an airing, wearing the prescription sunglasses that really fuck up my eyes ...

I'm painting a lovely picture here for you, aren't I?

Any road, I finally finished Shaggy Blog Stories.

I didn't laugh out loud very much. Then again, I rarely laugh out loud at anything, and then usually only when I'm drunk.

An example of stuff that makes me laugh out loud:

Morecambe And Wise being driven to their new "home" by James Hunt.
The carwash scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Beyond The Implode's review of The Heaven And Earth Show

Otherwise, I can report that there's some good writing in Shaggy Blog Stories, and very little that sets my teeth on edge. Well, I wasn't too keen on all the culinary posts, but that's probably because I can't cook and have a problem with food because I put weight on easily ... nothing personal, like, heh heh.

In Terrible Confession Mode, I have to admit to liking the My Boyfriend Is A Twat post about seeing Cliff Richard by accident. Will this get me drummed out of the Real Bloggers association? Ha ha, I'm not bothered anymore, what with being semi retired and all.

We were asked to nominate three SBS stories we liked that were from blogs that we normally wouldn't read or were on our blogroll, so I'm referring you to The H Factor (menstruation and the generally hideousness of the idea of reusable menstrual devices), The Big Side Order (pruning indoor plants) and Invading Holland (getting stuck in a lift).

I'd say all in all it's a pretty enjoyable read.

Otherwise, there seems to be a podcast with contributions from the writers in the offing. Fear not, dear reader, I won't be enhancing it with my Noddy Holder On Mogadon drone because vee don't haff the technology. You really have had a lucky escape there.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Why I have got a chip on my shoulder: one in an ongoing series.

When my mother was about ten, her parents had a discussion with her headmaster.

"She's a very bright girl is ****. I would recommend that she goes to grammar school because she has the potential to go to university."

My mother's parents had six other children and my grandfather was a coal miner. They couldn't afford to let her carry on living on their income for any length of time or to help support her through any sort of further education.

So she went to a Secondary Modern School (otherwise known as a You Will Amount To Nothing In Life, You Are Of The Scum And Will Belong With The Scum Forever, So We Won't Even Give You The Chance To Have Anything But The Most Rudimentary Education School).

In her mid teens she left school and got a job as a maid in a girls' boarding school.

She couldn't refer to the pupils by their names, but had to call them "madam".

There are probably a few layers of irony in all this, but, being a badly educated fuckwit who also has a poor command of the English language, I can't be bothered to investigate them further.

With thanks to Spinsterella, whose post was ripped off by ... um ... I mean *inspired* this one.

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Friday, April 13, 2007


In a rare outbreak of good taste among the usually vile and stupid general public, it seems that Because Of The Times by Kings Of Leon has reached number one in the British Long Playing Hit Parade (or is *Pick* of the *Pops* to my even older readers).

I was first attracted to the Kings' music because of their slightly-less-acclaimed-than-the-first one second album, which was full of great oddball tunes such as the Jack Douglasesque Four Kicks, and two songs featured references to the singer's premature baldness. The band - brothers Caleb, Cain, Abel and *cousin* Job apparently have their hair cut by one of their mums, but perhaps they made that bit up during a particularly boring interview.

On first listening, the new album is less immediate, so I just assumed it was going to be like that pointless, tuneless third Strokes LP. However, further investigation reveals that they've hem hem *cooked up a moody, brooding Southern stew of gothic wotsit* as they probably said in the review in the Metro. Too true, some of it sounds like The Pixies, but in a Surfer Rosa way rather than a All The Other Overrated Stuff They Did Way.

The Kings are too good to be lumped in with all the mumbling Americana nonsense.

In other music news I arvv been mostly listening to Spirit's completely ridiculous Potato Land, The Pop Group's Y (Y? Because there are few things more life enhancing than turning up the volume on Mark Stewart's voice as a way of annoying neighbours when you're going through a midlife crisis) and the jawdropping 30 Seconds Over Tokyo by Rocket From The Tombs.

Really, just any music which is the antithesis of Snow Fucking Fucking Patrol.

It's my blog and I'll publish a post about music which no one likes and will get zero comments because it's a Friday and the internet has officially shut down for the weekend.

Bollocks to you all.


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Sunday, April 08, 2007


Soon we'll be going out for a long hearty walk in the countryside, although I can't reveal the location because it would compromise my enigmatic blogging persona. Hopefully we won't be attacked by a large, wolf-like dog, which happened when we last undertook a long hearty walk in the countryside.

I'd like to convey my thanks to the reader who donated Simnel cake IN PERSON. I'm overcome with guilt because I couldn't provide a suitable Easter gift in return but, be thankful for small mercies. I could have baked something for you, and you really wouldn't want that.

Anyway, I'm overcome with happiness because I can announce that tonight is VAL DOONICAN EVENING on BBC Four.

Hopefully the scheduled programmes will give us THE TRUTH behind the myth, the jumpers and the rocking chair.

We may even find out if he really does rate online banking and the computer spellcheck facility, as described on Wikipedia.

What a lovely thing to come home to after a hard day of walking heartily in an undisclosed destination in the countryside. I may even have a mug of cocoa to accompany the viewing.

A happy Easter to all of my millions of bedridden readers around the world. Be at peace with your pipe.

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(picture courtesy of Corrieblog)


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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Excerpts from recent conversation. We were both sober at the time.

Geoff: "Have you ever slept in a hammock?"
Me: "No. Have you?"
Geoff: "I don't THINK I have, but I can't be certain."

* * * * * * *

Me: "Blancmange seems to be some sort of Arabic pudding originally. It's a pretty pointless sort of dish really."
Geoff: "Yeah, it is boring."
Me: "Mind you, it's one of those bland foods that my parents said are good for people who have stomach upsets."
Geoff: "Oh, come on, that's bollocks, it's sweet and sickly."
Me: "Yeah, but it's bland. They also thought steamed fish is good for anyone who's ill."
Geoff: (pulls face)
Me: "Just the smell of steamed fish makes me feel sick, it probably reminds me of being a child and having to eat it when I was ill. The other thing they said was that you could cure diarrhea by eating chocolate."
Geoff: Yeah yeah yeah, you've said that before a million times."

* * * * * * *

Geoff: "So, is it common knowledge that Jimmy Savile is a necrophiliac?"

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