I know I said I’d do no more Photoshopping but sometimes you just can’t resist…
I know I said I’d do no more Photoshopping but sometimes you just can’t resist…
I sometimes wonder what the hell we mean by ‘civilisation’. In the midst of the Woolwich horror, I thought I detected something like it in the action of onlookers who put aside all the miserably inanity of our media-consuming world to actually do something with real moral conviction. But it takes tragedy for people to find the best in themselves. Or perhaps it just takes a tragedy for the best among us to step forward and make themselves known. I wish I had that special kind of vision which could see those people among us, glowing and shining as they deserve to do, so I know who they are, so I could thank them as I also remind myself that I don’t live surrounded by cold lumps of flesh occasionally reanimated into action by the likes of Google, Samsung or Apple.
But that’s so hard. Everywhere I look, the things I took for civilisation are being corrupted by the slack-jawed bastards whose tastes run riot through our towns and cities, the Neolithic who have taken over the country and would make us a cultural void. But this isn’t just about the death of the bookshops, the collapse of the newspaper industry, the closure of our libraries, the destruction of our education system. It’s about the fast-food-dump-it-in-the-gutter attitude, plasticised mock-Americana, and the emergence of the precariat who are forced to live their lives under the old iron heel. Civilisation? What is civility in a culture obsessed with gimmickry, porn, war, noise, hypocrisy, violence, and anything that is trivial or banal? They won’t vote, can’t name a politician, but want us to celebrate some idiot drinking beer through her ear or a two-headed mongrel.
And when nobody cares, bad things usually happen. Politicians grimace and frown about tragic events but we know damn well that there’s political manoeuvring going on. Boris looked more like the PM yesterday whilst the PM was trying so hard to look like the PM. The night before, Theresa looked the PM, whilst the PM was PMing with the French PM… The media, initially spittle lipped with excitement, are now full of moral indignation. The left are predictably hang-wringing, cautious to adopt stereotypes, whilst the right predictably adopt stereotypes and are in the mood for neck wringing. They all ask: how do we stop these things happening among us? But we can’t. Things have gone too far. Neighbour rarely speaks to neighbour and communities are fractured with too many living their life in a meaningless void, disconnected from each other as they are disconnected from the culture around them.
We believe we are connected because we have technology to give us our Facebook updates, our Twitter feeds, our Google+ circles, but, in truth, it’s a lie we are telling ourselves to disguise the fact that we are completely disconnected. During the Industrial Revolution, such disconnects were intellectualised and became an ingredient in Romanticism, by which artists sought to return to an earlier time, to re-engage with nature. We need something similar today: a movement that encourages us to reengage with the people around us, to feel soil between our fingers, and the blood coursing through our veins. Because at the moment, we see violence and we reach for our phones. Freakishly, we record it, retreat to our passive state, go back online where everything is safe. And that’s partially the reason why terrorism is currently so potent.
People say we are desensitized to violence but have we actually become over-sensitized to reality? Approximately 20,000 soldiers died on 1st July, 1916. There were 40,000 wounded. Could any modern politician justify such loss, such suffering? We would laugh if asked that question, confident as we cry ‘no’, but that’s only because we can never envisage a situation when the stakes would be so high. But are we really that much brighter and less civilized than our parent’s parents, or their parents before them, or have we just forgotten how brutal the world can be?
To one strange yet rather pitiful pervert who visited the blog yesterday…
I’ve just read through my web statistics so I’m only just catching up on what’s new and depraved in the world of online freak sex but you were definately the first wrist athlete to view this blog on a Nintendo device looking for ‘3d pornography for the 3DS’!
Don’t think I’m not disappointed that I couldn’t provide you some. Damn! Nothing gives me greater pleasure than knowing that somebody is visiting my blog for the purposes of self-abuse but this 3DS porn development flew Dambusters-low under my radar. Wouldn’t you think that this is the sort of thing that Nintendo would include in their publicity?
So, just for you, I’m today launching my own range of 3D pornography viewable on suitable devices. Viewed on a 3DS, the following picture will pop out of the screen in its erotic glory. Hey, have fun! Go crazy until your knuckles turn blue. I’m not going to look… Sheesh!
Sick days in the heart of London: a soldier butchered by home-grown thugs citing religion as a way to make their cowardice appear noble. The media, already spittle lipped over every gory detail, have turned into salivating beasts now they have film of one of the killers with his hands red with his victim’s lifeblood. The far right are already stirring beneath their bed sheets stained yellow with their septic filth and bile. Politicians, those feral bastards, are already making political capital by claiming that they’re not going to make political capital… These are bad times all around and I find myself not wanting to look out at the world today.
Yet I thought I could do something. Perhaps raise a few smiles despite all this grim news. I’ve therefore decided to pirate an ebook, which is itself a sordid business to be into. However, in this case there is a modicum of decency because I also wrote the damn thing. For a limited time, you can download my last book from here. If it makes you laugh enough times, perhaps you’d consider supporting me by buying it from here (Amazon) or here (Dashwords). Either way, if you like it (or even if you don’t like it), give it your friends, family, and random strangers. I’d even be grateful if you’d go stick it on some ebook piracy websites and Bittorrent it at your leisure. Hell, I’m not going to come after you. I’m just happy to be read.
I must warn you that the book I’m giving away is high class erotica and I say that fully aware that I’m lying to you, even as I look you in the eye. It’s actually five short stories written as parodies of high class erotica, with a deliberately ‘bad’ style, trying to imitate some of those awful books you see topping the Amazon charts with some bloke on the cover with muscles like the coast of Norway. The whole thing is meant to hang comically on the ear, with very poorly chosen comic metaphors to describe those heightened moments of sensuality. You’ll quickly get the idea. I liked it enough to publish it as an ebook but after my week of rejections by ‘Private Eye’ and ‘The Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ (or, as I like to think of it, ‘Comment is Unwanted’), I’m discovering that my sense of humour is probably a minority interest. So, if you like the book, perhaps you could even go out of your way and wave in my direction and say ‘thanks David, I enjoyed that’. Today, I feel like I need it…
As to the name: I’m obviously not called Felicity and I’m really in no mood to be groped. Perhaps later… The name was probably a bad choice, laden with sexual misconduct, and it’s already attracted the hostility of some . I don’t know why I’ve written yet another book under a false name except that I’ve always detested the cult of personality. Russell Brand, in my eyes, is perfectly named. That’s what it all comes down to: logos, branding, promotion, marketing, TV. I’ve probably not done enough of that kind of things to make anything I’d done even a little bit successful but what kind of writer really cares about that kind of thing? Oh, right! A successful writer, you say… Well, that explains everything. I guess I’m too much in love the work and with the writing of men like William Donaldson, a much forgotten literary maverick, who created (among many others) the character of Henry Root, who wrote the famous Root letters back in the 1970s. He wrote other things under other guises and I’ve always admired writers to allow their work to stand on their own, devoid of attachment to some face.
So, there you have it. Today’s gift to you: a 30,000 word book. I hope it helps you get over these dark days. And if you liked any of it, please tell me. It’s the small things that, to paraphrase the words of the great Ron Mael, ‘keep me doing what I do in slightly askew ways…’
Every time I buy something from Maplin they ask for my postcode. ‘So we can send you some vouchers,’ says the chubby dreadlocked guy who looks like a Game of Thrones extra. But what Olaf the Pieeater really means is: ‘So we can send you yet another of our sale catalogues.’ And the most twisted part of this whole deal is that I actually look forward to the bloody thing arriving.
The catalogue never varies, of course, which is perhaps why the Rainman part of me quite enjoys it. There are always bargains to be had on solar panels to power your caravan and glitter balls for your mobile disco. The last page will always have great deals on AA batteries and that satisfies me in a way that’s really so psychologically deep that I can’t really explain. It’s like looking at pictures of the early Bardot sunning herself naked on the Cannes beach. I know the reality will eventually become either a far-right cat woman or my Sky remote packing up after only a couple of weeks but I love both with the same inexplicable passion.
This month’s exciting addition to the Maplin lineup is a Mobile IP Spy-Camera Tank. Why the hell I would want a Mobile IP Spy-Camera Tank I’m not sure except, perhaps, to recreate those scenes from the Moore-era Bond films when Q usually locates 007 lathering up a tall blonde Russian spy in a bathtub. However, since I’m lacking a blonde Russian spy, £109.99 seems a bit extravagant for a camera on wheels that would probably end up being used to annoy the neighbour’s cat. I wouldn’t pay more than £70 to annoy the neighbour’s cat. Maybe £75…
Apropos of nothing: I notice that they’ve got a new male model in this month’s magazine. Facially, he’s a bit Ross Noble but in the waistline he’s more Peter Kay. What message does this send out? I’m not sure except I think they’re acknowledging that the people who shop at Maplin might not spend very long hours in the gym, which makes the obsession with disco equipment all the more surprising… I just can’t imagine this guy dancing disco.
And apropos of something else: I still see they have the cheap Ultrasonic cleaner on sale. I sure fell for that ‘better buy it before the sale ends’ line that Sven the Pimpled sold me a few months ago. Not that I’m complaining. It’s been a godsend unblocking my Rotring Isograph nibs and clean my dip pens… Sorry. That did sound a little too enthusiastic and I don’t want to put you off from coming back… And I was doing so well disguising the fact that, yes, I have very little of interest to talk about today.
I’m actually a bit ‘written out’ having dashed off 1,300 words with accompanying cartoon about the new Xbox One which was unveiled last night. Tomorrow, I’ll post both the article and cartoon which this morning I sent to ‘The Guardian’ for possible inclusion in ‘Comment is Free’. I really don’t know why I put myself through that ordeal… Why do I put myself through that hell? Thoughts, please, in the comments below. As long as it doesn’t include the word ‘penis’, ‘pill’ or ‘pump’, I’ll publish them. Hell, I’ll probably publish them anyway… In the meantime, he’s a old cartoon from my notebook.
Times are tough for some of the UK’s oddest birds which until recently had been quietly stockpiling their guano among the more secluded outcrops of these northern isles. Notoriously fearful of strangers and always happy to mistake your finger for an anchovy or rain all manner of anal hell from upon high, these noisy birds are suddenly snapping at each other with a new anxiety as they struggle to attract mates. Yet, despite their clamorous screeching, there’s still much to love about these strange creatures that otherwise bring some much needed colour to our drab landscape.
But that’s enough talk about UKIP and the SNP. In unrelated news, a puffin laid an egg this week…
If the dwindling numbers of puffins are suddenly a concern, the strange hostilities we witnessed between the Razor-Snouted Farage and the Three-Chinned Salmond are an even more potent reminder of what happens when one breed of bird attempts to colonise the roosts of another.
The territoriality of our seabirds is notorious. On our rocky cliff tops, there’s barely enough room for one alpha male with a big personality to produce his copious guano. This week, the disputed nest was the Canon’s Gait Pub on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. It all began with the usual ritual display from the Alpha Farage who had no sooner landed than he began to puff up his chest and knock his characteristically chinless bill against a pint of warm beer. When the locals turned restless, he squawked that there are ‘some parts of Scottish nationalism that are akin to fascism’ but that just put the war pheromones in the air. The Alpha Salmond immediately regurgitated a mackerel and waddled into the debate with a well-timed peck at his opponent’s rear facing quills, suggesting that ‘when the obnoxious views of [Farage’s] party are put to him then his bubble deflates very quickly’. What followed was a spectacle of Mother Nature at her fiercest as things quickly turned feral. Feathers flew, nests were smashed, and the stench of half-digested election promises filled the news agenda.
The truth, however, is that this kind of territorial dispute will be short lived. There’s no room this far north for both breeds of bird and, although their plumage might differ, there’s too much similarity between the two. Both alpha males have struggled to a greater or lesser degree to overcome the perception that their parties exist to address one issue. Both Farage and Salmond are also the charismatic figureheads of their respective broods and both have some pretty stiff things to say about their migratory habits of others species: Europeans in the case of the former, the English in the case of the latter. Yet the biggest problem they both face is that they will only ever attract mates of their own kind. The Salmond is rarely comfortable in the warmer south whilst the Farage is solely native to England and would struggle to breed anywhere where it couldn’t also find pub lunches, the latest Test score, and busty Cockney barmaids who still appreciate the mating rituals of the 1970s.
Meanwhile, back with the puffins, we’ll have to wait to hear news of the latest census before we know how well they survived the winter. Yet I don’t fear for the birds as much as I fear for the health of the volunteers who will soon be sticking their hands into puffin nests. Not because the puffin isn’t a notorious snapper and not because groping thousands of seabirds won’t eventually lose its novelty. Those unlucky wardens will be stuck on a lump of rock hundreds of miles off the coast of Scotland, filled with savage beasts and rich with the smell of mature bird droppings. It will be as bad as if they’d never left the mainland in the first place…
My nose twitched an inch from the card that read ‘trainee gas fitter’. Something didn’t smell right and it probably wasn’t caused by a failed solenoid in a Greenstar boiler…
I was in my local job centre perusing the latest opportunities to barnacle myself to the great listing hull of British industry when I’d felt a greater presence standing to my side. There was also a new sense of urgency in the room, as if somebody amongst us found a sudden determination to change the world and to change it quickly.
I looked up and there he was: David Beckham.
Carbon-monoxide poisoning was my first thought. I was clearly hallucinating some filthy manifestation of my fear of telesales jobs but, as the other symptoms failed to develop, I began to realise that this was indeed the great man: six feet of contemporary culture, tanned by history, and his impeccable hair held in place by the Brylcreem of gilded fate. The only things out of place were the tears running down his cheeks and his Hollywood eyes red and puffy. As would any true Englishman, I felt compelled to act.
‘Pull yourself together, man!’ I snapped as I grabbed Beckham in a headlock and began to jostle some sense into him. ‘What are you? A metrosexual or a mouse?’
That seemed to calm him. He slipped his larynx from under my knuckle, gave one last sob, and then blew his nose into his Adidas handkerchief as he looked again towards the ‘Secretarial and Administration’ vacancies.
‘So,’ he said, his voice that clipped falsetto that women seem to find adorable. ‘This is what unemployment feels like, is it?’
‘What it feels like, son, is like a long waterslide into a fetid pool ruled over by spastic colons. But don’t let that stop you looking for work. Not until you’ve found something non-seasonal and at least minimum wage.’
With that, I took my newspaper and I sat down on the Department of Work and Pensions seats with their green scotchgard covers that bring the rashes out on your thighs. From there I watched as David began to scribble job titles onto the small patch of skin on his left hand that wasn’t already inked with religious tableaus and I began to wonder what was might be in store for the poor lad.
Beckham has chosen a bad time to re-enter the jobs market. There were 15,000 more of us looking for work just last week, taking the total to 2.52 million. Only now it’s 2.52 million plus a significant number 7 and I found myself wondering what David Beckham can do now that he no longer pretends to play football for a living.
Luckily, having now observed his job hunt at close hand, I’m delighted to report that there were suitable jobs catching his eye. Perhaps smirking Osborne is right and that is the smell of economic upturn in the air. If a man with Beckham’s limited qualifications and non-transferable skills can find a job, there may be hope for the rest of us. It might pay us just to consider his chances…
1. Boots Perfume-Counter Assistant
The poor lad is certainly ambitious but, if he’s going to start anywhere, I suppose he might as well start at the top. Competition is snarling down among the lip gloss and eyeliner booths and Beckham will have to fight like a self-tanned hellcat to get his chance and keep it. Some of those girls are Cherry Sunshine Red in both tooth and claw and they only take prisoners to experiment later with the cheap mascara. It’s deviant work on the shop floor and you need the eyeballs of a beaked whale to withstand the pressure of all the perfume in the air but Beckham knows his moisturisers and his chances of putting the ball in the net are definitely a good 8 out of 10.
2. Puffin Census Counter
Sticking your hand into the nest of a razor-billed herring addict might sound like tough work but Beckham at least has the arms for it. Imagine you’re a puffin and an elaborately tattooed scene from Ovid suddenly descends into your nest. Faced by a tattoo of Cupid carrying Psyche up to heaven, the average puffin is likely to forget to peck and reach for the nearest edition of Brewers Phrase & Fable. 7/10
3. Spice Girl
There’s enough nepotism in the world but if Victoria’s heart isn’t into it and the others are keen to keep the Spice brand going, then what better compromise than have David take over the reins as Posh? Actually, this makes a great deal of sense. He’s sportier than Sporty, looks younger than Baby, has gone into tackles with more malicious intent that Scary, and he’d probably carry off the ginger locks better than Busty Spice. 4/10
4. UK Ambassador to Hollywood
With property in the area actually larger than the Embassies to most nations, Beckham would fit right into the social scene and now that he won’t have as much use for his gym, he’ll have plenty of space to run MI6 agents from his basement. His friendship with Tom Cruise will also pay dividends, especially if he can get access to that Mission Impossible hardware. 2/10
5. UKIP Councillor
I noticed that his eyes lingered a little longer over this vacancy. I attribute that to the red, white and blue font the UKIP recruiters used. One of the most astute political operators in the game, David has never expressed a political opinion in his life which means that he’s the stuff of dreams for Nigel Farage. A possible poster boy for UKIP, Beckham looks good in pinstripes, proudly wears his patriotism on his sleeve tattoo, and it’s hard not to laugh whenever he opens his mouth. 5/10
6. Swivel-Eyed Loon
It might sound a little too close to the previous job but this one comes with the added advantage of actually influencing Conservative government thinking. David has enjoyed having the ears of Prime Ministers and Presidents for decades so he seems aptly suited to this important role, if only he can finally find something useful to say in the ears of Prime Ministers and Presidents other than explaining how to do the Cruyff turn. 7/10
7. Minister for Education
Gove’s days are numbered so why not get somebody in there that teachers and pupils might actually listen to? Beckham as Minister for Education would bring proper emphasis to physical education, improving the current two hours of sport a week to a much healthier twenty two with extra classes after school to practice free kicks and penalties. There’d also be no foolish gaffes about using the Mr Men to teach about World War 2 when Beckham’s in office. Not until Victoria has finished with the books so he can finally get a chance to see what all the fuss is about. 2/10
8. Spokesman for Google
Beckham became quite animated at the prospect of putting all his training to some use. He can finally become the spokesperson for a global brand with a reputation for doing evil. He’s worked for Boris and Seb Coe, so this should be like a walk in the Olympic park but without all the derelict buildings. 5/10
9. Prince of Wales
I hate to throw a Republican note in here but isn’t it about time we upgraded the current royal family? The Beckhams are the Charles and Camilla of the Now Generation: generally ill-informed about most things, never happier than when they’re shaking hands and grinning, and happy to do it all for the knockdown price of ten million a year. I personally think it’s a bargain but I suppose there are some who will complain that we could get Chris and Gwyneth for that kind of money. 1/10
10. National Lottery Compere
We’re finally in dream job territory with this one. The BBC has been careful to appoint no full time host for the Saturday night numbers. Now we know why. David has the looks, he has the ability to read from an autocue for up to twenty seconds at a time, and then there’s that big red button he can press whilst beaming his life-affirming smile in the living rooms of the nation. He was born to make us millionaires. The chances of him bending one into the top corner: 9/10.