Archive for September, 2008

NewsGush: A Sad Day

September 30, 2008

Genuinely sad news – Tony Hart is no longer able to draw and must put down his pencil due to illness. He’s had two strokes, and this has prevented him from being able to draw properly. 

According to the BBC, Tony says…

It has been my lifetime passion, but I endeavour to stay cheerful as there is nothing to be done about my condition.

This makes us older chaps feel our age, whilst the whippersnappers look at one another, bewildered.

For my part, I loved his shows when I was a lad, despite being terrified of Tony himself – he was a wise old Uncle who’d let you get up to whatever mischief you wanted, but always with the threat of him snapping into a foul temper at any moment.

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The Virgin Daughters

September 30, 2008

Brought to you by Tales from an Empty Room

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To the outsider, teenage American girls appear to be split into two camps. Half of them are starring in Spring Break and videos getting gang-banged by drunk teenage boys. The other half are members of various Christian purity movements. Luckily, we have girls like Sarah Palin’s teenage daughters to bridge the gap. She’s a fundamentalist Christian, but her daughters are apparently forever getting knocked up by gas station attendants and bag-boys. And they say Palin isn’t a unifying candidiate.

This documentary followed various fathers and daughters in Colorado Springs as the daughters prepared to make their pledges to stay virginal and pure, promising not to even kiss or hold hands with a boy until their wedding day. They do this as part of the annual Purity Ball and they start as young as five.

Now, most guys I know who have daughters know what horny little bastards teenage boys are. And most of them can see the merit in trying to make sure your daughter feels loved enough at home not to go off and date the town ’bad boy’ just to piss off daddy.  As US comedian Chris Rock says – your only job as a father is to keep your daughter off the pole. But there is surely a better way of doing this that doesn’t involve emotionally blackmailing a five-year old. 

The main character we met was the ball’s organiser, alpha-male fuckwit Randy Wilson.  As Randy and the other fathers in this movement sat hovering over their daughters as they spouted their rehearsed purity speeches to please daddy, my skin began to crawl. Randy has seven children and he and his wife have had five miscarriages. His wife, by the way, was a weeping basket-case. Bearing in mind the poor woman’s been pregnant 11 times, she was obviously physically and emotionally worn-out and she probably doesn’t have five minutes peace where the aptly-named Randy isn’t showing her some of his good ol’, Christian lovin’. 

As part of a weekly household ceremony, the children line up and Randy tells them one-by-one what they mean to him. To me, this just looked like an overly-dominant man asserting his patriarchal role in an ugly display of power. But I guess Mrs Randy must have been glad of the rutting break.

I’d be interested to know how much Randy makes from these purity balls and how much of it he gives back to the church. Having said that, the New Life Church which hosts these things, was conveniently founded  by Randy himself. So who knows if he can tell the difference between the two.

‘Why! The church needs a brand-new red Camaro. Hallelujah!’

We also met Khrystian Wilson (these Americans with their whacky misspellings!) who had once been Miss Teenage Colorado and had taken one of these purity covenants herself. Being a very nice-looking girl and Miss Colorado an all, she’d obviously attracted the attention of the boys. And having had virtually no sex education, she soon found herself pregnant. She was all set to marry the boy in question until she lost the baby and they separated. Thankfully, she’s now living with a nice guy. But her mother still treats her like a fallen woman and refuses to have anything to do with her partner. Christian love and forgiveness in action.

I understand parents wanting to protect their children – particularly young daughters – from the worst excesses of our morally bankrupt and demoralised culture. But anyone knows that if you want to make something seem more appealing to teenagers – just ban it. Just ask every stripper who went to convent school. Everyone knows little girls will do anything to please their daddy. But fathers taking advantage of this fact, simply because they can’t handle the idea of their daughters growing up into sexually mature women, is pretty depressing.

Disclaimer: Having said all of that, I should confess I have previous in this area myself. With a long trail of broken relationships behind me, I’ve disillusioned so many women that a group of my ex-girlfriends have now got together and started their own nunnery. I’m thinking about opening up my own monastery nearby. This might just be the perfect relationship – I just need to convince them all to take the Mingles Pledge at my annual Monastery Ball. I’ll keep you informed of my progress.

Girls Aloud on Jo Whiley’s Live Lounge

September 28, 2008

Only just heard about this rendition of an already pretty turgid song. Listen out for the caterwauling on the chorus. The only benefit of Jo Whiley’s radio show is that it occasionally, accidentally sorts the wheat from the chaff in terms of those who actually have a smidgen of talent as compared to the over-produced, bizarrely acclaimed pile of shit at the top of this post.

My ears are bleeding.

The Friday Question: Dirty, Dirty Television

September 26, 2008

Chaps – When you were young (and your heart was an open book), did your school playground echo with the whispers of what TV programme that evening might contain knockers?

Ladies – I can’t pretend to understand how the complex machinations of your minds work, but there must have been an equivalent? Have a think about the TV programmes that inspired lust in your hearts…

For my part, The Camomile Lawn was a guarantee of wobbling lady flesh on terrestial TV and was essential viewing for many young men of my generation. That woman who was in Pride & Prejudice acting all demure – well – she can’t fool me. I know she’s saucy.

Tipping The Velvet arrived later and by that time I think I’d moved on a little, not really requiring television  to act as smut-provider though I’m sure the 14 year old me would’ve gladly tuned in for the promise of actual lesbian bumcheeks.

Did you watch Eurotrash in the hope of seeing a couple of French fancies every Friday? What TV programmes would you tune into as a youngster to guarantee you got yourself a glimpse of hardcore nudity?

What dirty television was must-see?

Just A Thought – EastEnders

September 25, 2008

Have you noticed anything familiar about the storyline that’s unfolding in the Jackson household at the moment? No? Then let me enlighten you …

1999 – Carol Jackson returns to the square with a new man in tow called Dan. Carol has had several children, all by different fathers. Carol is blissfully happy until she discovers Dan has been fucking about with her daughter behind her back. The shit hits the fan.

2008 – Bianca Jackson, daughter of Carol, returns to the square with a new man in tow called Tony. Bianca has had several children, all by different fathers. Bianca is blissfully happy until she discovers Tony has been fucking about with her step-daughter behind her back. The shit (presumably) hits the fan.

A coincidence? A lesson to us all that the child is destined to repeat the mistakes of the parent?

Or just the lazy sods that write EastEnders recycling exactly the same fucking storyline a decade later and hoping nobody will notice?

You decide.

The Restaurant

September 25, 2008

Though we’ve been keeping up with this over at Swineshead Towers, and despite its enormous similarities to The Apprentice, there’ll be no weekly breakdown of each episode as Badger Madge over at BMTV seems to be making a decent fist (titter) of it herself over here… and here. It’s undoubtedly improved on the first series and there’s a lot to enjoy in joining the affable Raymond Blanc as he orders a load of wannabe restauranters to undergo tests that would make any normal human being unravel within minutes.

Just as a taster, last night’s saw the teams of two – who each have been given their own restaurant for the duration of the show – delivered half a pig each and set the task of cooking and selling as much of the squealer as possible. Marks would be given for profit and then deducted for wastage. The format is exactly the same as the Apprentice and remarkably it doesn’t suffer from the transposition, apart from in one area.

Nick and Margaret are, by now, firm favourites when it comes to how Apprentice fans feel. The incredulous looks on their disgusted faces have become a part of the fabric of the show. In their place, on The Restaurant Monsieur Blanc is shanked by a couple of thorough bastards. Not cantankerous, lovable silver foxes like Sugar’s charges – these are just oily, smug shitbags and they take a bit of the fun away from proceedings.

David Moore wanders into the restaurants with the kind of fixed, shit-eating grin that lets you know that he thinks you’re shit before he’s even seen the supposed shitness of your shit and said ‘it’s shit’. His blank, jelly-baby face occasionally warps into a sneer, but on the whole he gives nothing away, making him the sneakiest Casper lookalike in the country.

Sarah Willingham is even worse. Permanently overdressed – like she thought she’d been invited to lunch with her Majesty – she takes herself far too seriously. The main problem wirh Willingham is that she asks leading questions to the contestants which offer nothing to the show, other to explain at point blank range what you already know is happening. If a cut of pork has been burned she’ll ask ‘do you realise that that’s burned?’ and both viewer and contestant will nod while shrugging as she smiles at how clever she’s been. She’s not a patch on Sugar’s Margaret. But then… who is?

Still, it all works out alright in the end when we hit the boardroom (or whatever they call it on The Restaurant) as Blanc sits in the middle of them and adds an air of respectable, reasonable Gallic charm to the proceedings. He does the job of Alan Sugar but he does it his own way – which is to be fair and offer appropriate advice. His approach is as effective as Siralan’s because, more often than not, contestants are blinded by his unerring friendliness and complete obsession with stuff you masticate and as a result they admit their failings immediately, as though they’ve let Daddy down. It’s very impressive.

And the food?

Magnifique!

NewsGush: Her Majesty vs Blue Peter

September 24, 2008

The good ship Blue Peter continues to sail on the perilous seas of the 21st century, despite being the the very definition of ‘anachronism’. Obviously, I haven’t tuned in since the days of Caron Keating (God rest her soul), Yvette Fielding and some bloke called John Leslie… so I’ve no idea if it’s been updated to fit with the times…

Are they still petting dogs on the sofa and making village train stations out of cardboard boxes?

Anyway – the big news is that her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second has invited Peter and his presenters round to her gaff for a cup of tea.

There may even be biscuits.

During the event Her Majesty will recognise four very special Blue Peter viewers, who will be given the surprise of their life when presenters Helen, Joel and Andy turn up at their doorstep and invite them to take tea with The Queen.

They will be presented with a special Jubilee edition of the programme’s highest award, the Gold Blue Peter Badge.

Invited to the tea will be the current presenters Andy Akinwolere, Helen Skelton and Joel Defries, key production staff and a selection of the longest-serving presenters from each of the show’s five decades.

I wonder if Leslie will be invited along? Or Richard ‘rock n’ roll’  Bacon?

Still – you can’t argue with tea at Buckingham Palace. An absolute honour. I hope I get the same treatment when I turn 50. The lucky bastards.

KFC – Boneless Bargain Banquet for One

September 24, 2008

Hey you!

Yes, you..!

Are you sick of all the needless bother that goes hand-in-hand with enjoying a meal? Are you bored of having to sit at a table; of facing other people, of trying new and interesting food and having to use cutlery and plates?

How about restaurants? Aren’t they a pain? The way they make you choose what you want from a text menu instead of brightly lit photographs with combo options. It’s obscene.

And they make you sit inside them too – at tables. All you really want to do is sit at a bus stop bench with a cardboard box.

They’re so arrogant, showing off about having food that you haven’t heard of or possibly may not like.

What about women? So fucking annoying the way they make you spend time with them – listening to what they say or doing what they want and, worst of all, making you break the endless cycle of repetitive behaviour that makes life so easy.

Have you tried cooking? What a waste of time! Buying all those ingredients and then having to prepare it yourself! It’s an insult – making you responsible for your own food. Like you have the time to learn how to do that!

Luckily there’s an alternative to all that bullshit; a way out of socialising and trying new things, a way out of wasting time in the kitchen or spending more than a fiver on food. It’s called the KFC Boneless Bargain Banquet for One and it is the future of culinary delight.

No longer do you have to wait more than two minutes for your snap. No longer do you have to face the insufferable company of your other half and no longer are you bound by the societal constraints of etiquette or manners… it’s finally here! Freedom.

You can sit alone on the kerb and stuff yourself silly with greasy and abused meat from a questionable source and not have to worry about choice or flavour.

Vegetables? Bollocks! Taste? Bollocks! Polite company? Bollocks!

You can now sit in public and wolf down non-threatening food and not have to worry about trifling annoyances like bones or using forks. Look at those poor saps, stuck indoors and having a nice time with the ones they love. Pity them, for they are bound by having to make decisions, pretending to enjoy their fancy-dancy toff grub. You are the real winner, alone and free to enjoy your genetically spliced super meat without restaurants or the effort of cooking.

Have you tried Tennents Super? It’s brilliant – it gets you pissed without the constraints of having to enjoy the drink. How about microwavable burgers? So useful, because who wants to have to wait for longer than a minute and a half for dinner?

While we’re here, let’s mention internet porn… After all, who wants to go to the bother of talking to a woman when all you really want is tits at the click of a button?

KFC are all about the here and now. We’re about instant and easy gratification without the attention to pointless aspects like enjoyment or quality. We don’t bother you with company or pleasant surroundings, we don’t oppress you with plates and glasses – we’ll mainline you with an instant, worry-free hit of MSG and we guarantee you won’t have to talk to a girl, a waiter or another human being in the process.

What’s more, we promise to treat you like a complete fucking troglodyte moron in not only our advertising, but in our restaurants too.