Friday, October 24, 2003

And so here we go again with more fleetingly conceived yet mindfully chosen words mainly published in order to gently nudge the outside world towards my way of thinking and thus make my life that tiniest bit more bearable should I ever encounter one who has been converted (even if it is by the most vanishingly minute fraction of a transformation).

After all, isn’t that what all writers are about? Changing the world? It is a conceited outlook I know but if only everyone thought like me, the world would be a better place. And I defy any self-confident reader of this particular entry to take a good look inward at him (yes, and her) self and conclude any differently. It’s just that writers are people who firmly believe they can achieve this change on a fundamental but admittedly superficial level (no, I don’t believe these are two contradictory descriptions). The same goes for editors of publications, directors of films and plays, and, at a more dramatic intensity, religious leaders. Only they have been changed first and commissioned to pass on the changes (the gullible idiots - if you find this last bit controversial then look away – I’m only here to write my opinion and do my own share of people changing. At least these are original sentiments...).

And so via a short but well-observed process of deductive logic, we can come to the remarkable conclusion that the politicians among us are the only humans who are honest enough about what they are attempting to achieve. Although of course such a feat would not necessarily stop the self-important ones from acting cynically or corruptly should they so choose.

Excuse me, just ate lunch there. Wow. Time travelling. You just jumped forward seventeen minutes in the few seconds it takes your eyes to traverse the distance between that last sentence and the next.

Anyway… Oh damnation, I’ve lost my train of thought. Hmm, I think the point I have been attempting to communicate has something to do with the way humans try to leave their mark on the world. And although we don’t like to openly admit it to ourselves, we all know the most meaningful way in which the world exists is within the minds of us people. Yes, yes, this sounds like a shower of pretentious sputum, but we do get a bit of meaning in our lives by invoking some sort of spirit in others. An engineer, a biologist, a musician, a poet and all these other abstract human things; these are people who work to produce a thing that they find has beauty and meaning and they hope their work will conjure up something similar within others. A writer might as well just say it straight: “Here is the world as I see it, listen to my admittedly bias argument; drink thirstily from my swollen teat of opinion; and understand the world through someone else for a change; i.e. me.”

Which is why I cycle back to another vaguely interesting variation of the same old opinion: The advent of the weblog is like a behemoth female pig, lying on its side, effectively inviting us to suckle on a teat. Pick on any teat you want: the selection goes on for miles and miles. I could take this metaphor as far as you could want – way beyond any reasonable standard of boredom. For instance, some teats vend almost entirely bile, some direct you towards other teats, others require payment, and some teats can squirt into many different heads at once as their hit counter spirals ever upwards, etc, etc. And as you can now see I actually created a pretty shitty metaphor, but I have never laid claim to competence.

Now that the selection of teats is many and varied, us humans can be evoked (I’ve just decided to use the word ‘evoked’ in an entirely novel fashion. If Dickens can do it I’ll be damned if I cannot.) in many more ways than ever before. Here’s to evocation. And by evoking and being evoked we can learn many new things about ourselves.

For instance, I’ve learned that I can sit down and just start writing and writing and in the end I’ll produce an oddly original and thought provoking piece which has no meaning whatsoever. Which I’m quite pleased about really.

The premise upon which I first based this entry is faulty of course. Although there may be a grain of truth in my claims, the overriding motivation for us humans is of course simply the reproduction of our genetic material. What we haven’t yet realised is that we are simply vessels for our genes, who are the true owners of this Earth. If and when aliens do visit, they will recognise our genes as the inhabitants of this planet and not us. And so the variation of species’ will be of little importance to them (except in that some are better at maintaining their genetic inheritance than others). They will see (as our scientists do now) that some genes have survived for billions of years, way, way, way beyond the memories of our ancestors. They will see (as geneticists do now) that we rank our families depending on the amount of genetic material we share with them. If asked to choose who they would save from a burning building – apart from the partner who they intend to combine their genes with – the overwhelming majority of people would prioritise their siblings over their cousins; their parents over their grandparents. It sounds obvious because we have always lived with it – but think.

Basically what I am saying is that we do it all for the sex. All our motivations come down to one thing: will it help us pull? Which is of course why pretty girls never amount to anything. Unless they were made to believe they were ugly of course. Which leads one to conclude that a good parent of a pretty girl should either a) slash her face; or b) tell her she is ugly. Either should do the job. But no parent with a sound mind will ever do the former because that would reduce the chances of half their genetic material being reproduced later on down the line.

And so my ability to write on any subject without any prior research or thought continues apace. And what is more I have no allergies and my family has no history of heart disease. Also, my Dad reckons we are the direct male descendents of Ben Hur. I’m dubious about this last one, but apparently my family used to have the surname Hur and considered itself a clan. This is all true (it is true that my Dad claims it). Hence my well-founded opinion that my genetic material is truly worthy of all female worship directed towards it and in particular my Dioxi-ribose Nucleic Acid dispenser.

And kneel...

Thursday, October 16, 2003

In the ongoing attempt to provide reading matter for you, the casual visitor to my site (that’s only according to my casual publishing rate of course), I again signal my prior intention to pass you off with not-quite-meaningful-enough Internet fodder. What follows is the online equivalent of an unexpected Women’s Page in a daily newspaper, or a five minute television feature on old men and their domestic steam-driven machines. Happily at this site, we do not throw the equivalent of manipulative and bastard loan commercials at you. Nor shall we patronise you to the hilt in the style of Good Morning, who would spend fifteen minutes of valuable airtime explaining how to send text messages from one mobile phone to another. At which point I would weep.

But please do not imagine for a moment that I am to embark on such an undertaking wielding only the most bluntest of pens, oh no. I shall be as sharp as a diamond coated porcupine, dressed in Armani’s most fashionable of clothes, delivering previously unheard witticisms written especially for the occasion by Noel Coward in an especially spiky mood.

Actually I still haven’t figured out a topic for today. Which is admittedly a problem, and a persistent one at that. The basic reason for a weblog, one might feel, is that it can be used as a chronicle of one’s life. Unluckily however, I’m a fairly private bloke and don’t want to publish my life story for all and sundry to read. My most regular topic it seems is the difficulty in writing this weblog of nothingness. Mainly these pages serve as a template for writing experimentations and the odd rant. So you could say that this site provides merely a diary for my mood and creativity. Which is a bit shoddy really from your point of view.

Nevertheless newspaper columnists write comparable and original pieces at least as regularly as I do here. So why should I struggle to find topics? Well, basically, newspaper columnists are cunts (with a very few exceptions – Bernard Levin in The Times always wrote an enjoyable half-page) and I don’t intend to be (much of one). I genuinely use the following example as the nearest columnist I have to hand as I write, so it is therefore a randomly chosen cross-section: “ShelleyVision” in Tuesday’s Mirror; Jim Shelley’s column on television.

To be fair to Mr Shelley, he is writing in a popular tabloid about a medium that has the potential to be unbelievably superficial. Would he keep his job if he took a realistically scathing view of many of the programmes on, say, television’s Lowest Common Denominator Channel (that’s ITV for all of you who don’t know the industry slang)? Well, probably, but then perhaps a real newspaper might employ him. Sad really that the only decent newspapers are broadsheets. Perhaps the advent of the Independent in tabloid format will change this forever. More sadly still however, the Independent is about as exciting as dry toast.

Before I continue here is my view of the three national dailies that I hate the most:

The Daily Mail: Bastion of middle class suburbia, the Mail prides itself on always being anti-government and ridiculously moralistic. If the Daily Mail were a person, it would be Mary Whitehouse. The Daily Mail knows its main audience: White Anglo-Saxon, usually female, upper or middle class, over thirty, suburban or rural. It always loves to have a go at the asylum seeker: “The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port in the country is becoming an outrage.” - The Daily Mail, 1938. This newspaper is evil. You couldn’t pay me to read this divisive vat of toss.

The Sun: With the editorial seemingly always in line with the views of a certain Rupert Murdoch, only an utter fuckwit would take the news stories and opinions contained within seriously. Sensationalist, celebrity obsessed pap, the Sun has a penchant for chasing sales, which means it’ll fuck over anyone it can to achieve them. Add to this the inconsistent views from one day to the next (depending on public mood – i.e. England team are scum on Friday; heroes on Monday) and a disgusting level of nationalism that occasionally breaks into xenophobia and you will realise why I never buy this rag. Besides, Murdoch doesn’t need my money and he’d much rather manipulate my opinions anyway so fuck buying that.

The Daily Express: Much like the examples above, the Editor of this rag knows fully well that a good old asylum seeker story on the front page will add up to forty thousand sales (sad indictment of our society that. A Beckham headline has exactly the same effect in terms of sales increase. This may or may not be even more distressing). So on goes another irresponsible and morally bankrupt line of thinking written especially to stir up the pot even more. Luckily however not too many people read the Express: it is laughably shit. Really it is an absolutely awful read, covered from front to back in tepid worthless trivia (rather than news). Whilst I hate the Sun and the Mail, I regard the Express like a domestic cat might regard a scratching post bought for it by its owner to stop it ripping up the sofa. I ignore it, I think it takes up valuable space, I would consider wiping my arse on it.

Jim Shelley then, and our Jim, who stares pleadingly over his sunglasses at us from the top of the page, has a piece on the acting faculties of Ray Winstone in ITV’s made-for-celebrity ratings chaser “Henry VIII”. His headline is “King Ray Axe His Socks Off” which sits atop an argument stating why Ray Winstone’s performance as the portly Henry VIII ranked high in the TV echelons. Luckily, or perhaps I should say unluckily, I saw said performance and I sadly cannot agree with the statement that the casting of Winstone “worked so brilliantly.” What in fact was provided to us by the soon to be defunct Granada was Ray Winstone playing, well, Ray Winstone whilst all around him (including ITV drama stalwart David Suchet, or Poirot as he his better known – has he ever appeared on any other channel?) attempted to act as if they actually were in the 17th century. Perhaps it’s just my warped opinion here, but the father to Queen Elizabeth, the pointy nose Monarch who saw off the Spanish Armada, probably did not have an East End London accent and is unlikely to have ever clinched his fist and gruffly whispered “Yeessssss!” when things went his way. Still, one must admire Ray’s photo-realistic belly.

Like me you may have spent the last 201 words of this piece asking yourself why the published picture of a television critic should depict him wearing sunglasses. Good question that. Perhaps they serve to disguise a face weathered by the prospect of having to watch, nay, closely follow and understand, our culture’s many utterly shit soaps, dramas and feeble attempts at situational comedy. I think I might prefer to read the Daily Mail than sit through that torment. Poor fucker. I have seen young to middle-aged women from Hampstead sitting around trying to work on sitcoms for the BBC. These women have a similar but still worse sense of humour than my mum and her friends. Sorry Ma, I give with one hand, I take with the other. If you are wondering why we are failing to produce even half-passable sitcoms, come to my work. See how BBC staff culture influences the comedy that everyone else thinks is substandard filler material. It is really amazing how television created to induce mirth can actually bring on depression. People will write theses about that one. And I will weep.

Of course one of the reasons we were so frequently able to hear our Mr Winstone raucously explaining, “I’m the King of Engerland!” was because the production was partly funded by American broadcasters and who may well change the title from “Henry VIII” to “Henry VIII: The eighth English King named Henry not the eighth part of a drama called Henry” in an attempt to further patronise their audience. Presumably the American’s got the drama at a cheap price seeing as the staff at ITV will soon be under their employment now the government has practically made it inevitable by merging Granada and Carlton.

If ITV does become American owned, don’t expect an end to sickeningly superficial pop programming in addition to the shoddily produced “public service” programmes as legally required in the ITV license. Also, expect continued shameless self-promotion within aforesaid mentioned “public service” programming such as news stories telling you about a ‘great weekend of sport’ on the Friday before a weekend of live events on the channel. And don’t give to hope the prospect of finally seeing an end to the insultingly appalling policy of producing programming based on (talentless) “stars” rather than, say, a good script or a fine idea. Try praying for an end to Ant and Dec – it cannot do any harm – but expect the pair, who are as inseparable as testicles in a ball sack, to continue sucking the black worm jism direct from Satan’s cock on live network television. Also continue to expect dramas to be shamelessly written only as vehicles for well-known faces in the hope that as many people as possible will tune in. And then you can weep.

These viewers are of course the very same people who give the Sun and the Express their circulation figures. You can here the chatter of their television sets at night along with the flickering glow in council estate windows up and down the country. As their baseball-hatted stepchildren hang around in groups on street corners, the ITV watchers continue to build up their massive reserves of fat by shoving Big Macs and TV dinners down their throats and dream of an appearance in the studio audience of Stars In Their Eyes. These are the silent majority. The people who think that the Beckham’s wedding reception wasn’t incredibly tacky, who plan their social life based on the TV schedule, who think that wearing any clothing with a well known label emblazoned on the front is the height of style. These are the overly fertile buffoons who bring their young and impressionable children to protests outside of a court of law and hand them placards advocating death to a person yet to be tried.

And I weep.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Finding a subject to address is an unending and highly challenging task for publishers of weblogs everywhere.

And it is this very struggle that brings these words to you.

For no subject today has been brought forth, except that which unfolds before you now.

Please find forgiveness if it appears the details are being dragged out a bit more than usual.

The Weblog is the ultimate publishing tool for the people.

As remarked upon here previously, it could be responsible for the Universe’s first examples of organised assemblies of intelligent evolutionary matter expressing themselves on their own terms.

The Universe is the term used to describe everything we know exists and beyond.

The word “Universe” is a noun.

Nouns are names for things.

It might be better if organised assemblies of intelligent evolutionary matter considered the word “Universe” to be a verb.

Verbs are words that indicate an action, state or occurrence.

It would mean that the “The” from the term “The Universe” would disappear.

Then organised assemblies of intelligent evolutionary matter might regard themselves as part of Universe rather than Universe being a separate and distinct “thing”.

Part of Universe

Because of the efficient organisation of society, many organised assemblies of evolutionary matter have lots of time to themselves.

Bored bits of organised intelligent grey matter and free web space equals self-exploratory thinking.

Large media companies inform assemblies of intelligent evolutionary matter about the state of their slightly less chaotic section of Universe.

Companies are teams of intelligent organised evolutionary assemblies of matter who work towards set goals in exchange for money.

Many assemblies of evolved intelligent matter say that the personal accumulation of money can make their existence more happy and meaningful.

Money is a means of bartering.

Some assemblies of organised evolutionary intelligent matter say that they only want to use money that has a particular illustration of an individual wealthy and influential assembly of organised evolutionary matter.

They say they do not want to barter with organised assemblies of matter who collectively consider having a different history from them: unless those organised assemblies also use different money from them.

History is the study of things that organised assemblies of intelligent evolutionary matter judge to have once happened and which seem important in the present.

Study is the way that organised assemblies of intelligent evolutionary matter become more intelligent.

The best way to study is to read published material.

Those assemblies of organised intelligent matter whose ancestors had a successful history generally have better access to publishing than those assemblies that don’t

Whether a region has had a successful history is a difficult thing to define.

However a flourishing publishing industry is usually a sign that historical successes were common on that part of the Earth.

To define success, one can look in the Oxford English Dictionary. Published in the famous University town of Oxford, England.

Look up Universe

Publishing on the Internet gives assemblies of organised intelligent evolutionary matter random insights into the states of other bits of organised intelligent evolutionary matter.

Some assemblies of matter hope that by doing this they will really be able to fully understand each other at last.

Never before have the humble electrical signals of, for instance, teenage bits of evolved assemblies of matter that in themselves collect small eruptionary masses of puss and grease been available in a self-interpreted electronic form to so many so easily.

Nor in fact the digitised images of external membranes and reproductive organs of evolved assemblies of human (and occasionally animal) matter for that matter.

This is known as pornography.

Pornography is the public performance or recording of sexual intercourse.

Sexual intercourse is the method by which organised assemblies of evolutionary matter evolves.

Evolution is the natural process of organising matter into appropriate forms in a struggle to ensure the continuation of particular sets of organised matter.

A politician is a profession that some assemblies of organised evolutionary matter choose to be.

Politicians say that seeing recordings of assemblies of evolutionary matter practising the evolutionary and organising process is harmful.

Daily Mail journalists are organised collections of evolutionary matter who speak like politicians but who hate everybody including all politicians with the exception of Margaret Thatcher.

Politicians pretend to like everybody except criminals. Although they still pretend to like politicians who are criminals.

Margaret Thatcher is an organised assembly of evolutionary matter who was once Prime Minister of Great Britain.

Margaret Thatcher was especially renowned because her sexual organs were different to those of all of the previous Prime Ministers before her.

However they are also identical to those of half of all the organised assemblies of evolutionary matter on the Earth.

Many organised assemblies of intelligent evolutionary matter say that Margaret Thatcher was an evil bitch.

This seems to be regardless of the state of their sexual organs.

Most organised assemblies of intelligent evolutionary matter who publish weblogs run out of things to say after about 821 words. They cannot…