Sunday, February 22, 2009


Oh, bloody hell, here we go again.

It seems as though there's an article in the broadsheets every week slagging off people who use the internet or technology in any way to communicate. The one I've linked to seems to have gone particularly overboard on the notion that people who use the internet or technology as a way to communicate are psychologically damaged.

"Nobody would Twitter if they had a strong sense of identity," Oliver James informs us.

"I would guess that the typical profile of a "follower" is someone who is young and feels marginalised, empty and pointless. They don't have an inner life," he also proclaims.

Odd business, isn't it? Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, blogging, online forums - they're hugely popular. Presumably, anyone using the internet to "communicate" in these ways is psychologically damaged, unable to cope with life in real time or to form bonds with real, blood and flesh human beings.

Following Oliver James' logic, nobody would have interests or hobbies of any kind. After all, if you have a hobby, you don't have a strong sense of identity. There would be no more gardeners, stamp collectors, mountaineers, antiques collectors or photographers. Everyone would be so well balanced, so content with their lot and so in touch with their real feelings that they would be sitting in darkened rooms wallowing in their own sense of worth.

If my suggestion seems over the top and nonsensical, it's surely nothing compared to the journalists/ahem, *social commentators* who carp on about the way that ordinary people are daring to use the internet to broadcast the details of their sad, pointless lives to other people who have sad, pointless lives.

After all, who would rather not know about the informed opinions of interesting, exciting, successful people such as Oliver James, Alain de Botton and Janet Street Porter? At least they have a sense of their own identity, an aspirational lifestyle, a rich inner life and don't have to prove how much better they are than the unwashed masses by providing sound bites for broadsheet features or writing long rambling articles telling people that they should go out there and GET A LIFE and MAKE REAL FRIENDS rather than sitting in front of a computer screen.

Basically, they don't have to set themselves apart from the unwashed masses by proving how different they are from them. Oh no.

I'm going off to find my lost sense of identity. I think it fell down the back of the radiator in the spare room.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009


In a shameless attempt to play to the gallery, I'm going to do a list post in the feeble hope that I'll get more comments than usual. I want to find out what people's least favourite songs are.

Here are three of my own which should inspire you with their gruesomeness, but probably won't. Oh well, tumbleweed, tumbleweed ...

TOGETHER WE ARE BEAUTIFUL - FERN KINNEY. Some bint with severe nasal back drip informs us that "I've gone with better looking guys, he's gone with prettier looking girls" which isn't a good start. No, no, no. Pop music is about imagining very good looking people finding chemistry with each other, not sweaty, cross eyed, pigeon toed ORDINARY people. I don't care if the "chemistry" of being in lerve makes them "beautiful". I wanted to be transported away to a world where people don't sniffle permanently or have grubby fingernails or hairy moles. Being unbearably mawkish is a crime against humanity.

ISN'T SHE LOVELY - STEVIE WONDER. Being unbearably mawkish is a crime against humanity. Look, you could put forward a theory that Stevie Wonder reached a high water mark with his early 1970's albums with Tonto And His Exploding Hair Band, as Barack Obama did, but it would all be cancelled out by this atrocity. I remember that Nick Cave put him on the Death List of the NME's Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer profile because of this song, and quite rightly so. People who write gooey songs about their new born children should be put through a mincer alive and then fried gently in lard for a week.

SEASONS IN THE SUN - TERRY JACKS. As you see, I can't abide mawkishness. I really hope this song didn't help people "cope" with their own or a loved one's terminal illness. What a load of dreck. I like me a bit of Jacques Brel, but I've not bothered to read the translated "real" lyrics of this, which have been mercilessly "adapted". I bet Jacques wrote something along the lines of "I can see all of you hard faced cunts looking at me around the hospital bed/Hoping I'll give you a cut of the estate/Well fuck off/I need to use the bedpan". Of course, this version was in turn adapted to the "We had joy/We had fun/We had Palace on the run" chant heard around football grounds. So I've been told, anyway.

So, over to you.

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Monday, February 16, 2009


I can currently be found on Twitter.  I don't know how you can find me on Twitter, but I trust you to use your initiative if you can be bothered.

I very vaguely understand what it's about, but it may take several years to gain any real insight into it.  

I mean, I used to listen to Jimmy Savile's Old Record Club for years and years and eventually got the hang of it, although it would have seemed completely incomprehensible to the outsider.  All that stuff along the lines of "Graham Archive!  Graham Archive!  Now then!  We shalt with the carry on!  As it so 'appens it was number eight and I just got two million points from you lot because it was the one and only THE FOUR TOPS you see!"  

Well ... Twitter can't be any more incomprehensible than that, can it?

There's always the chance that I will make a spontaneous, off the cuff remark that will upset people. After all, I'm not vetting myself in the same way that I do when blogging.  So ... it might be worth checking out just for that ... er, if you can find me.

I won't be abandoning blogging though.  This is where I'll still post all the thoughtful, sensitive, award winning stuff about my beautiful children and my uncle's gruesome illness as usual, to the complete indifference of the blogosphere.

UPDATE:  I think I've cracked it.  You can find me here, probably.  Yawn.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009


This is a Valentine's Day post.

As n e fule knoe, love makes the world go round. If you are single, you have failed as a human being and are probably very ugly.

Only nice, good looking and successful people find true love, which is one of the reasons why love is so wonderful.

There is nothing more heartwarming than seeing a couple feed each other pasta, bits of chicken or ice cream in a restaurant while gazing into each other's eyes, because they r in luff ...

... unless they are giggling at an "in" joke that only they share or understand, because they r in luff ...

... unless they are chewing each other's faces off, slurping or groping each other in public, because they r in luff.

Anyway, I digress. Here is the Utility Room's new, annual Valentine's Day Most Wonderful Couple Of The Year Award, to make all of you single people out there feel even worse about your lot in life.

Congratulations to not-remotely-creepy comedy sort and Channel swimmer David Walliams (37) and lovely, demure Lauren Budd (18).

I managed to catch up with the besotted couple as David waited patiently to pick up Lauren from her after school hockey practice.

He kept being distracted by all of the young girls filing past in their gym skirts, looking pink and sweaty, so he didn't have much to say apart from this:

"Lauren makes me feel ... I dunno ... YOUNG again. I love her sparkling eyes, her vivacity, her girlish laughter. She blows away the cobwebs and makes me feel ... ALIVE."

At this point, his face glazed over.

Lauren was more forthcoming:

"Daevid is morr suffistikated than wot boyz of miy age arr. U carnt havv an intelijent convursayshun wiv them. I liyke 2 tork 2 Daevid about the wurld and them kind of things. Hi is instresting and hi taykes me 2 restrants and orders bottls of wine and hi knoes abowt food and buks and the theetre and filumms and othur things. When u goe on a date with boyz of miy age u have 2 go everware on the buss wich is horible but with Daevid we get cabs and sumtimes hi has a showfurr that drives uss wich is nice. Also, hi is going to help mi with miy homewerk 2nite wich is gudd."

There you have it. If you're not in love, you're not living.


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Thursday, February 12, 2009


In more LOCAL news, it's been announced that 2 million quids are going to be spent on a 50 foot statue of a white horse at Ebsfleet station.

A white horse, yesterday

Television news reports demonstrated what the horse would look like by showing us a small, scaled down version, just so we could all make cheap remarks about the small, scaled down version of Stone Henge that appeared on Spinal Tap.

I can only hazard a guess that the horse is a the modern equivalent of the chalk horses that you see on the sides of hills in Britain.

In a similar vein, it has been announced that a 90 foot statue of a man with an enormous hard on wielding a club will be *erected* on top of the dark, satanic cliffs overlooking Bluewater shopping centre ...

Look out missus, 'ere comes a big 'un

... and a 250 foot statue of Julian Cope (thankfully, without a hard on) will be overlooking Welling Railway Station.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I've decided to devote the next couple of posts to my millions upon millions of LOCAL readers who want to read about LOCAL issues.  

These posts are dedicated to them, even though they tend to have weird respiratory diseases and anger management problems.

In fact, I love them so much that I'd love to gather them up in a big old group hug.  Well, if they didn't all smell of used ash trays, urine and dead breath, that is.

* * * * * * * 

It has been reported in the Bexley Times that World War Two veterans were out there, trudging through the ice and snow on the day that buses were cancelled everywhere and the rest of the spineless rabble were sat at home as the country ground to a halt.

They bravely walked FIVE MILES through all of that snow ...

... so that they could play a snooker match.

We're not told if the snooker match was indoors or, possibly, outdoors in a beer garden.

To the Bexley Times, this invokes THE DUNKIRK SPIRIT.

Absolutely.  Who could ever forget that day in 1940 when an entire regiment of Our Boys swam across the Channel, only aided by a motley collection of rusty bathtubs, rubber dingies, and in some cases, water wings, flippers and smeared in a month's ration coupons' worth of goose grease?

All of this so that they could play a game of cribbage at the Flag And Lamb pub in Deal!

Fair warms the heart, it does.

Back to the snooker players though - former RAF man Larry Parnes (89) had this to say:

"I think it's a rummin' disgrace they're not running the buses, trains or aeroplanes.  In 1947, during the Great Snow Of 1947, they just used to keep the buses running all the time and we used to just carry on playing snooker as if nothing had happened.  They were a different breed in those days.  I don't know how they'd cope if there was a war now.  They'd be too busy putting their lipstick on to have a game of snooker."

A few pages on in the newspaper, in Bob Ogley's "Times Past" column there are some old pictures of buses that ran adrift in snow or skidded off the roads in the 1940's.

Some people attempt to board a bus via the top deck in the 1940s in some snow, with life carrying on as normal.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009


The discussion about censorship on TV that was kicked off by the Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand business drags on and on and on.  

The Daily Mail clutches at straws in its efforts to get Jonathan Ross a long stretch in jail, which is wot he deserves after all.  

Vic Reeves, apparently, says that Jonathan Ross is a bully (or at least The Daily Mail says that Vic Reeves says Jonathan Ross is a bully, although the interview accompanying the headline seems to suggest he said nothing of the sort).  The Daily Mail tells us that Gwyneth Paltrow's second cousin's step dad's half sister admitted that Gwyneth was upset, stunned, mortified, confused and struck dumb when Jonathan Ross joked about wanting to have sex with her. Etcetera, etcetera.

More importantly, there was a very serious discussion about the subject that refuses to disappear on Alan Titchmarsh's chatshow the other day on ITV.

I caught the tail end of the show, unfortunately.  The panel consisted of Jacqui Stephen (former, er, Daily Mail TV critic), Iaiaiaiain Leeeeee (in other words, that tall bloke who used to be on The Eleven O'Clock Show), and Kelvin Mackenzie (former Sun editor).  A coven of has beens, in other words.

Iaiaiaiaian seemed to be the sole voice of reason - he was in the "if you don't like something you hear on the radio or see on TV, you can always switch it off" corner.  Jacqui and Kelvin weren't having any of that.

Kelvin suggested that Jonathan Ross had been going Too Far for Too Long.

Kelvin Mackenzie climbing up onto the moral high ground, people.

This is the man who gave us the gloating "GOTCHA!" Sun front page headline when the Belgrano battleship was sunk by our boys in the Falklands War.

Sez Kelvin: "Jonathan Ross asked David Cameron if he had ever masturbated while thinking about Margaret Thatcher.  Since he got away with that, he has thought that he can get away with anything ..."



"... that's probably the first time that anyone has used the word "masturbation" on this show."

To his credit, Alan T. kept his cool.  This is a man whose affable Yorkshire demeanour has suggested that any written transcript of his speech has to include the use of the word "yer" instead of the word "your".  Oh, and there's always an apostrophe at the endin' of any word that would normally have an "ing" at the end of it.  I bet it was Alan who renamed Shaking Stevens Shakin' Stevens.  

Ironically,  he is also surely a source of masturbatory fantasy for the nice, elderly women who watch anything Alan Titchmarsh is in on the telly, but who can't stand that Jonathan Ross and his rudeness.

Alan Titchmarsh is the only man who can still invigorate these women.  The fantasies they have about him dragging them into the potting shed or rolling around in some freshly raked over flower beds, the springy scent of the earth mingling in with Alan's fresh sweat ... well, these fantasies must be legion.  

Alan is the only man preventing these women from having excruciating vaginal dryness.

"In case yer wonderin' what it means" sed Alan, "it's another word for chewin' vigorously."

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Some girls are bigger than others

I always assumed during the days of The Smiths that Morrissey was fairly tall.  Well, around the six foot mark - not basketball player tall, but not the usual pop star shortarse (pop stars are always about five foot four in real life, which is a bit of a let down if they were ones you had harboured a secret crush on, and you were fairly tall yourself.  Not that such a thing ever happened to me.  Oh no, of course not).

Judging by the picture above, though, Morrissey has shrunk height wise and, rather like a tampon, has expanded widthways.  Happens to us all, I suppose :(

He is now starting to resemble The Morrissey Lookalike.

One Sunday evening in about 1989, as a last resort, I ended up with some friends at a Smiths disco.

A Sunday evening spent at a Smiths disco.  This is about as forlorn as it gets really.  Mind you, this was the West Midlands.  We couldn't all hang out with Boy George, John Galliano and Tim Footman at the Wag Club listening to *pukka* rare groove tracks, could we?

Anyway, the climax to the evening at the Smiths disco was a Morrissey lookalike competition.  A number of clueless students attempted to dance for a couple of minutes to What Difference Does It Make? to little effect.

Then THEEE Morrissey Lookalike stepped up and wiped the floor with the opposition.

He had all the dance moves.  The arse sticking out, the twisting around on one foot, the finger waggling, the pained but wistful facial expressions.  He had the quiff, the jacket, the baggy jeans.

"He's the business, that one," one of the other competitors lamented.

Indeed he was.  The only real difference from Morrissey was that, rather than being skinny, tall, and long of chin, our lookalike was short and squat, with a wide face.

He looked like Morrissey if a piano had landed on him from a great height.

Obviously, he walked away with the main prize (dunno what that was - probably a couple of free tickets to see The Darling Buds or Mighty Mighty or somesuch rubbish and long forgotten band).

For the next few months, I saw him around at gigs occasionally, wearing that "yeah ... you probably DO know me from somewhere" look on his face.

Where is he now?  More importantly, in diametrical opposition to Morrissey, has he become tall and skinny?

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Well, I've ridden out the Great Snow, despite the fact that everyone else has been snowblogging and now everyone is snowblogged out.  

I still haven't worked out what "London's idiot mayor" (thank you, Mike Skinner) was on about with his "It's the wrong kind of snow, but not necessarily in the right order.  Carry on!  You're all doing very well!"  quote.  Was he making a reference to The Morecambe And Wise Show and Are You Being Served?  Bloody fortysomethings and their deference to old comedy shows, Curly Wurlies, Spangles, wing collar shirts, Chicory Tip, etc.

I'm fed up of the endless *heartwarming* pictures on TV and in the papers of children on sledges or people falling on their arses walking down the steps outside Waterloo railway station.  Enough!

Still, it didn't deter me from building a thirty foot Wickerman snowman in the back garden, and I've sent the picture to the Bexley xTra website.  Go over there and have a look!

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