Friday, June 30, 2006

New look!

I've been experimenting with the look of my page a bit.

I'd be interested in your feedback, but please be aware that I might not take any notice of it!

Songs with long titles

I don't know about anyone else, but I always find it interesting when songs with quite long names appear on music TV channels. The channel often opts to abridge said song name in some way, much as it does with band names. But whereas abbreviated band names have become part of the pop lexicon (SOAD; QOTSA; RHCP or The Chilis), this is less the case for song names.

Sure, if people know which artist you are talking about you can abbreviate song names and album names when chatting or writing: Dirk and Kings for Adam & The Ants' Dirk Wears White Søx and Kings of the Wild Frontier albums respectively, for example.

But going back quite a few months ago, when I first started seeing Trivium (right) on the Kerrang! channel, I noticed that the name of their song was very long: "A Gunshot to the Head of Trepida". Who or what is Trepida? I wondered. Is is a mythical beast? A Greek or Roman god from the old days? No, neither. It was a few weeks before I realized that the song title should rightly be "A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation". For me, though, it will always and forever be "A Gunshot to the Head of Trepida".


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Great websites #2

It's been about a month since my last "Great websites" post, which you can find here, so I figured it's about time I threw another one together.

This time, I want to bring your attention to Now, before I go any further, I must first say that I can't vouch for the legality of this site. It seems perfectly above board, and maybe it is ... in Russia! But my guess is that it's not something that non-Russians should know about. Why? Because it offers free mp3 downloads of songs by hundreds upon hundreds of artists. You can pick up virtually anything by Prince, for example; there are some 800 songs each by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones; seemingly everything from this year's Eurovision Song Contest... Well, the list goes on and on. There's even a four-CD bootleg box set by Buddy Holly on there, called What You Been A-Missin'.

It's not fully comprehensive, of course. What would Russians want with Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Adam & The Ants, and the Black Crows? And some albums mysteriously have one or two songs missing(!). Even so, it's got to be worth checking out if you're looking to top up your iPod.

I wouldn't want to be seen to encourage piracy, so I can't tell you which buttons to push. I will say, though, that the link in this post will take you to the English-language version. And that will make everything look far less scary.

Would it be worth buying the Internet for just this one site? Well, no, possibly not. But it is fucking cool nonetheless.

So, without further ado,, for services to music, the Web, and the world, A Blog About Nowt salutes you.

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A new Six Line Review

fasteaze1"What shall I review today for Six Line Reviews?" I wondered to myself.

If you are wondering too, simply click here, and all will be revealed. It rhymes, too, which is something of a bonus, I'm sure you'll agree.

Blogging, Wife, football, work, Wimbledon, Big Brother, and whatever else has sprung to mind at this ungodly hour

It's been a while, I think, since I did a post with any meat on it, and for that I apologize. Not only to those people who come here regularly, but also to myself for being so naughty. Furthermore, to compound my guilt, Wife has just said to me: "You've become a bit sparing in your use of images on your posts recently." Insult to injury or what?!

So here I will try to make up for it, to some extent.

First, taking my lead from one of Baw Bag's most recent posts, I'd like to put this in. Okay, anyone who has been to Bawbags and seen his post will possibly have read this comment from me, but feeling as dry as a nun's chuff when it somes to inspiration at the moment, I thought it bore repeating. If it doesn't, then, oh I don't know, sue me.*

I had to miss the Brazil v Ghana match the other day due to work commitments, but when I got home Wife asked did I want to know who won. "Ghana?" I offered hopefully, for who doesn't want to see the mighty fall? "Yes!" she exclaimed, surprised that I'd guessed correctly. "Really?!" I semi-shrieked (but in a manly way, of course). "No," she said. I thought it was a bit mean getting my hopes up like that...

See, Wife can be cruel. But the funny thing about Wife - and this is really a terrible segue - is that she doesn't mind knowing about the end of stuff. You know, how a movie ends, or a 23-part TV show like Prison Break, or a book, or a game show like Survivor. (I'll talk more about Survivor later.) And I hate knowing. I wish I didn't, but I'm like a kid, and I love to be surprised. That's not to say I enjoy walking down a dark and deserted street and have someone pop up from behind a wall and say "Boo". No, I don't appreciate that sort of surprise. I mean I like the [whatever it is] to reveal itself to me at its intended pace. Not Wife, no. We watch a fair amount of what I call the good shows from America. We don't watch Oprah or Cops, but we watch The Apprentice, Survivor, Third Watch, that sort of thing. She - I kid you not - will look up online the endings of any series we are currently watching before we fly - just in case we die. She needs to know how they end just in case we die. And yet she's also quite the optimist in many other areas of her life.

Another reason for the slimness of posts lately is that since coming back from my holiday I haven't had the time to do much other than work. And once work is done [actually this isn't true. I should say "While working"] I start looking at my Daily Read blogs. Then a bit later I might start thinking about my daily post. Now this is a change to my old habits. I used to blog before looking at anyone else's blogs, and I think I have to go back to those old ways. The problem with looking at people's blogs first is that you then feel like you've stolen their ideas if they happen to have posted on something you were considering. This morning, for example, I woke up thinking that I'd post about how happy I am that Tiger Cunting Tim is out of Wimbledon already. I fucking hate him. Words cannot express how much of a fucking tosser I think he is. He is quite possibly the worst sportsman ever to have come out of England, with the possible (but by no means definite) exception of Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards. Tim: fuck off. I'd call him a has-been, but he's more of a never-was. Fucking shower of shit. So I can't blog about how much I hate Tim cos Ranting Dullard beat me to it. So I left a comment instead.

Are you getting something of a picture yet that this post is made up of embellishments from my morning's comments? Well, this is where it ends and I move on to pastures new.

I've been a bit unable to concentrate on long posts of late. Both my own and those of others. I've been unable to create them and unable to read them. I think I'm over that now. It seems that way, doesn't it, given how this one is rambling on?

So, Survivor. Before I continue, I must ask: Please no spoilers. I think it's over in the US, but we are way behind. The thing is, you see, Survivor is not shown in the UK. We get our fix from our buddies in Australia. They record it and mail it to us. They've been doing this since they returned to Oz about three years ago. Before that, when they lived in London, they had tapes mailed to them by family members and we'd have Survivor evenings with a curry and some beer. I have no idea why they don't show it in the UK. Actually, yes, I do have an idea. Some bright fucking spark at ITV (that's a commercial UK network TV station) decided that we could make our own British Survivor. So they did. And, like all re-do's of other nations' shows, it stunk. It was fucking miserable and turgid and terrible in so many ways. You see, they messed with the formula and got it wrong. And the viewers didn't like it, so it was never recommissioned. I guess someone somewhere said, "Oh, UK audiences don't like Survivor". No, you cunt, we don't like shitty faux Survivor, but we do like the real thing.

Anyway, we have a tape of Survivor sitting waiting for us. And we also have two films sitting waiting for us. And we're not getting round to any of it. And it's not just because of work. The World Cup is on and often compelling. But it's not just work and the World Cup. I am (almost) ashamed to say I've developed something of an addiction to Big Brother. This is the first time in quite some years that this has happened. Wife thinks I'm in love with Aisleyne (pictured here). Really I'm not. I think she's nice (ebonics notwithstanding) and I think she's "keeping it real", unlike many of the other housemates, but I don't love her or even fancy her. And - is this terribly snobbish? - she's just too stupid to be interesting to me. Is "stupid" too harsh? Dumb, then. Evidence can be found here.

So, the reasons again for my lack of meaty posts: Work. World Cup. Big Brother. But I'm going to make a concerted effort to get back on track.

* Please don't sue me. I don't have much in terms of money and possessions, and I can't afford to lose what I do have in a frivolous and unnecessary court case. Instead of suing me, perhaps you could just leave a comment saying something like: "Y'know, * (asterisk), that really didn't bear repeating." Thanks.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

20 Comments Wednesday

Pie at The Pie Shop has devised "20 Comments Wednesday" in a bid to let people know that readers are out there, so not to despair. Check it out by clicking the banner in my sidebar. And join in, too!


These are the 20 blogs I commented at today:

1. Red-Letter Day
2. Fatfiz's Brain Drain
4. Mister Anchovy
5. The Pie Shop
6. Honorary Jock
7. Some Lies...
8. Are You Up to the Test!?
9. Into the Pot
10. Beyond the Veil
11. She Always Made a New Mistake Instead.
12. Six Line Reviews
13. The Gnostic World of Candy Minx
14. A Bhoy in Leith
15. I've Made a Huge Mistake
16. Notions on Being...
17. Growing Wild Like a Tree...
18. itisi
19. Crazy Not Stupid
20. This Is This

So long, and thanks for all the chicks

I was sad to see that Wrinkled Weasel has seemingly written his last witticism, penned his last post, created his last comic moment - at least as far as Wrinkled Weasel's World goes.

I suppose blogs come and go. I'm pretty new to it all, and this is the first in my little circle that has disappeared, not counting the traumatic but thankfully short-lived disappearances of Rants from the Dull and The Anti-Crapitalist. At least with those two the end was not announced, and so it somehow seemed temporary or a mistake or that something sinister was at work.

Weasel has just decided that enough is enough. In part, it appears that he didn't feel his efforts were being rewarded with comments. I guess this is understandable. All of us put a lot of thought into what we put on our blogs. These words represent us and are part of us, and it's nice if they're appreciated. We are exposing ourselves to the world, all too aware that the world just might not care what we have to say.

I, for one, hope Weasel returns. But if he chooses not to return, I hope at least that he still pops up from time to time in our comment boxes.

And just while I'm on the subject and feeling a bit soppy, I'd like to thank those of you who stop by here on a regular basis and leave comments. It is nice to feel appreciated.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The best of * (asterisk) ?

I've added a new drop-down menu on the right, and I've called it "The Best Bits?" The question mark is because it's rather difficult to judge what your own best bits are, I think.

Take a peek - maybe there's something you haven't read. Or if you're new here, perhaps it's a good place to get started. They're pretty much in chronological order, with the newest at the top of the list.

I suppose what's missing from the list is the more inane stuff, the more throwaway stuff, and arguably the more fun stuff. But you can get some of that from checking out My Reviews (such as they are) and My Six Line Reviews.

And if your personal fave ain't there, let me know and I'll put it in, cheap, crowd-pleasing whore that I am!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Mixing and matching

Kurt Cobain and Big Brother referenced in the same six lines of text?! What kind of crazy, mixed-up world is this? Click here to find out...


Best Big Brother moment this year?

I'm not really prone to writing about Big Brother, but in the absence of anything worth saying about the England game yesterday (other than, "Thank Christ for Beckham"), I feel compelled to share this moment of greatness.

This comes from BB companion show Big Brother's Little Brother, when three questions were put to housemate Aisleyne (pronounced "ashleen" for those not watching) as part of a viewers' competition.

Here's the Q&A:

1. Who was the first British monarch to get divorced?
A: What's a monarch? [They explain.] Oh. Charles?

2. Which bird can swim the fastest?
A: Birds don't swim, they fly! [She's clearly very happy not to have been caught out by this trick question. It is then explained to her that some birds do swim.] Oh... swans?

3: Who was the youngest member of The Beatles?
A: Bono.

This is TV at its finest, and no doubt. It makes me so proud to be British.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I was koi: 25 Peeps

I waited a really long time to get on 25 Peeps, but finally I got there. Or, rather, half of my tattooed chest did (see pic). Readers had the chance to tweak my nipple, tickle my fish's gills, whatever they wanted! And then do it all over again.

But those halcyon days are now behind us. I've been outplayed, outwitted, outpeeped.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Whatever became of...? #2

Hello, and welcome to the second of my "Whatever Became Of…?" series. This time around, Toto Coelo.

Don't remember them? Maybe this'll help:

I eat cannibal
Feed on animal
Your love is so edible to me
I eat cannibal.

Yes, those are some of the lyrics of their No. 8 UK hit "I Eat Cannibals, Part 1", from 1982.

So, what became of those lovely lasses? Who the fuck knows? Well, actually, I tell you someone who might know: Bob "I'll have a P, please" Holness. Really? Yes, really. Because his daughter is one of the Toto Coelo girls. Who'd'a thunk it?

I can tell you, though, that the band was called Total Coelo in the United States, to avoid confusion with Toto. Huh? Maybe Toto should've changed their name to avoid confusion with Total gas stations. Or Toto the dog from The Wizard of Oz.

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Typical girls?

Those "Typical Girls" of punkdom The Slits are releasing their first new material in more than 20 years. The release will be a three-track EP, and one of the tracks -- "Number One Enemy" -- features Ants guitarist Marco and Pistols drummer Paul Cook.

The Slits, eh? Didn't John Lydon used to go out with one of their mums? Maybe they got married. Who knows?

Here's the cover of The Slits' first album, Cut.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Pube-headed teeny-bop motherfucker
dumps lovely Cameron

I know the name Cameron fills many a British heart with dread these days, but here I'm talking about Cameron Diaz. Can you believe that the quite lovely Cameron Diaz has been dumped by pussy-faced, pube-head Justin Timberlake? IMDb has full details.

I feel bad for Cam. She doesn't have much luck with guys. To be honest, though, she'll be better off without that former N*Sync pop-tart cunt. I mean... he's dumping her???!!! Wake up, Dimbolake. Don't you know which side your bread's buttered?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Come on, you Azzurri!

Being in an Anglo-Italian household, I have to give full support to Italy during the World Cup, as well as to England. And this year, the Azzurri are playing particularly well (that is, in comparison to their old ways when Trapattoni was coach). At least they are attacking a bit under Lippi's control.

So they've gone through at the top of their group, due in no small part to this man, Gennaro Gattuso.
In our household, Gattuso has long been hailed as something of a hero, and yet again he proved his worth today. He even got name-checked for his greatness by the English commentators.

But what has always struck me is how much he looks like Captain Caveman, below.
What do you think?


What to buy for the person who has everything...

Well, arguably he doesn't really have everything, but he has a lot of stuff.

And also arguably he's not a person.

So, Wife and I were wondering about buying a pet for our cat. Perhaps a pet Chihuahua. Is this a really bad idea? Is it the king of bad ideas? Does anyone out there have experience of buying a pet for your pet? I know it's a bit Dharma and Greg, but... well, Cat would look so cute playing with his pet puppy.

I know, I know: I've lost my fucking marbles, haven't I? They've proper gone this time. I never should've spent so much time in the sun...


What the...?!

Click the pic to see...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Yeah, I don’t mind some wrap

Surely, * (asterisk), you mean "rap"?

Well, yes, that too, just as I don't mind some hip hop. I'm a white boy after all, so I surely must like 2Pac, like all good white boys. But when I said wrap, I meant wrap, not rap. And that Christo: well, he sure knows how to wrap.

Witness Exhibit A -- the Reichstag building in Berlin: if that ain't a good wrap, then I don't know what is.
Exhibit B: Arguably less of a wrap and more a lot of hip (h)openings [ouch, sorry!] in New York's Central Park.
And Exhibit C -- Snoopy's house.
Credit where it's due, these works are, I believe, correctly attributed to Christo and Jean-Claude. Except the cartoon, which is by Schulz, though the pair did indeed build and wrap a Snoopy house for the Schulz Museum 25 years later. Life imitates art.

“It’s comin’ home, it’s comin’ home, it’s comin’ – football’s comin’ home”

Umm, no it's not, not if last night's crock-of-shite game is anything to go by. How is it that England matches are so bloody boring almost all the time, regardless of whether they win, lose, or draw? They're just so... undynamic.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Reading and viewing

While away I finished the Elmore Leonard book that I'd started a couple of days before, read one Dennis Lehane book, and started another Lehane. This second one I have yet to finish, but if I have a little time to myself today I should be able to. I also went to the pictures.

So what were the books?

Elmore Leonard, Mr Paradise
I gotta say, I'm not a big fan of the way Leonard writes. This is the second of his books that I've read. The first was Rum Punch, the basis for the movie Jackie Brown, but I don't remember that one being written quite so badly. To be honest, though, the only things I really remember about Rum Punch are that the book was way better than the film, and that what I considered the best scene in the book didn't make it to the film. Still, despite the fact that I didn't like how Mr Paradise was written, I enjoyed the story. It didn't rock my world, but what does?

Dennis Lehane, Prayers for Rain
Lehane, conversely, writes wonderfully. This guy knows how to make you wanna turn the page. He is the writer behind the book Mystic River, which was turned into a film a couple of years back. Great book; frankly disappointing movie. Prayers for Rain tells of a young, prim-and-proper woman who throws herself naked from a building and to her death. Like several of Lehane's books, it's a Kenzie and Gennaro thriller, the two protagonists being private detectives. I suppose ideally these K&G books should be read in order, which is something I haven't done but will attempt to start doing. Lehane writes solid thriller/mysteries that keep you guessing much of the way. They don't really move into the realm of the ridiculously implausible, and they are great holiday reading. (Not that there's anything wrong with ridiculously implausible; much of Palahniuk is just that, and I love him!)

Dennis Lehane, Darkness, Take My Hand
I'm still reading this one, and I'm really enjoying it. I think it's better than Prayers for Rain. Another K&G book, but this one predates PfR and as such I should have read it first. Oh well, no biggie. On the subject of Lehane, though, his Shutter Island is one of the best books I've ever read. I loved it, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

And the film, pray tell?

The Da Vinci Code
So, my cognato (brother-in-law) asked if we were interested in seeing this at the flicks. Wife wasn't that interested, just as she hasn't been in reading the book really, but I figured, What the hell? The multiplex we went to was showing the movie in Italian, but -- and this is a first for me -- they also offered headphones playing the soundtrack in the original language. Although I have sat through several films in Italian in the past, I thought I'd give this novelty a go. Not only because I wouldn't be able to follow so well in Italian, but also because the original language is always best. The film was not as bad as the reviews had led me to believe, although it goes without saying that the book is considerably better. As conspiracy-type movies go, this isn't up there with JFK, but if you've got a spare couple of hours you might consider it. At the very least the core subject matter is fascinating.

And now you're all up to speed on my holiday reads and views.

No future fuchsia

For the first time in my life, I have booked my next holiday just one day after returning from one. I've never done that before, but it feels so good!

This means of course that I need to recover from my current bout of sunburn in time for the next lot.

I am the king of sunburning.

In fact, I still suffer the consequences of my honeymoon in Thailand. This was in 1998. I got so badly burned on my sternum that just the faintest sniff on sun makes it glow today. It's bizarre. And I don't mind saying, just a little bit scary. If I'm ever to be diagnosed with skin cancer, it'll be there, I'm sure.

In September, it'll be ten years since my first trip to Italy. Since then, Wife and I have been at least once a year. Some years, we've been three times. The shortest trip was 24 hours; the longest, three weeks. And we usually try to go for at least five days in the height of summer.

So, you'd think I would have learned by now about the sun, the dangers of exposure to the sun, sunburn... that sort of thing. But hell no. Every summer trip involves me turning, as the locals say, fuchsia. Sometimes this happens within the first couple of days; sometimes a little later. On this most recent trip it was on what should have been my penultimate day on the beach. In the event, though, I couldn't face another day after that. I arrived, sat for a few minutes, and went back home to the mother-in-law's, leaving Wife to enjoy a couple of hours there on her own.

I know we Brits are no strangers to burning. We do it well. And in truth, many many Brits do it far better than I. But I'm still the king. Why? Because, like I said above, I should have learned by now. I'm the king, or champion, of idiots. Although maybe Conan O'Brien, Conor Oberst, and George Costanza may want to challenge me on that.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Tattoos in the workplace

Thanks to Red and Wrinkled Weasel for alerting me to this news story at the BBC about one Rebecca Holdcroft.

This sort of thing really annoys me. Really, can anyone explain and/or justify why a person who does not have to interact with the general public at all should not be able to wear, for example, a strappy top in hot weather?

I don't know this woman, but it seems that her employers' only beef with her is that she has tattoos. We can assume with some certainty, therefore, that she is capable of doing her job. If she weren't, she would surely not have said job any longer. But she has pretty extensive tattoo coverage, it seems, and that is clearly upsetting for some people of a sensitive disposition.

She's not got racist tattoos. Or sexist tattoos. Seemingly the subjects of her ink are not, in and of themselves, offensive. It's just that she has them at all and they are on display. Other employers have small tattoos -- undoubtedly bog-standard designs that are barely the size of my left bollock and cost about £20 ($37) -- and these are permitted. But she, who has spent thousands of pounds on getting good artists to do good work, must cover up.

Judging by the comments at the bottom of the BBC article, I, along with "victim" Rebecca, am in a minority in thinking this is an injustice. Well, isn't it? The only people who see her tattoos during the working day are her co-workers, managers, etc. All of whom know she has them. So what the fuck does it matter?! One London-based commenter says: "I think it looks vulgar, and would refuse to sit next her if she was an office colleague." This is a great attitude to have about someone just because their skin is a different colour to your own, isn't it? It really lets you feel the love in our own capital, which is supposedly a cosmopolitan melting pot. Get over your fucking self, you twat.

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What I’ve been up to

So I was on holiday. In Italy. Visiting the in-laws, and eating lovely food, and lying on the beach. It was ace! And now I'm back, and I have work to do, and I have to forget that I'm sunburned and that my legs ache from all the cycling I did. I'm not accustomed to cycling.

I got so badly sunburned on my lower legs that my ankles nearly disappeared while my feet and legs swelled up. And this was on Friday, so I really couldn't find it in me to go back to the beach on Saturday. Which means I missed my last day of beach-lazing, all through my own stupidity in not applying sun-protecty cream before exposing myself to the sun. I feel like a bit of a twat.

I'm usually very good with sun-protecty cream. It's very important. Especially for us tattooed folk. Tattoos fade much more quickly if they are regularly exposed to the sun. But ultimately it was those couple of hours of bike riding, that's what done me in. Done me knees in, that is. Grrr.

Other than that, though, I had a fab time. I love holidays. Didn't think about work hardly at all. Didn't even check my e-mail. If I had found an Internet café (how bizarre is that? We couldn't find an Internet café! Don't you just love rural Italy?), then I would certainly have been more keen to blog than to check my work e-mail anyway.

Normal service? Not quite yet. But I'm getting there...


Hello. I'm back!

Thanks, guys, for all your recent comments. It's nice to feel wanted, missed, or whatever else. Awww shucks! Normal service will resume ASAP. Just as soon as I catch up with all your blogs. I must have shitloads to read...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I don’t even fish...

Back soon. In the meantime, feel free to browse my archives.

And for further perspectives on all things * (asterisk), check out Wife's blog (I know some of you already do) and Cat's blog.

I quickly slung up an HNT pic too, for anyone interested in that sort of thing...

Quote quiz: "There's a fish in the percolator!" Name that show.

Flying monkeys

I saw a film the other night that had something of a "flying monkeys" theme. And no, it wasn't The Wizard of Oz. Good film, though, The Wizard of Oz. Scared the bejeezus out of my niece one summer afternoon a few years ago. I guess she was about six years old at the time. Still, I'm getting sidetracked.

The film in question this time around was Harry, He's Here to Help, a French movie from the year two thousand. (In the United States, it's called With a Friend Like Harry.) The movie tells the story of a seemingly chance encounter between two 30-something men who were at school together. They get to chatting and spend the evening together.

Before long it becomes clear that this is a stalker-type tale with a darkly comic undertone: think Single White Female meets Funny Games, with a good dash of Hitchcock.

It's good stuff. Funny. Edge of the seat in places. Intense. Crazy. Lots of stuff to please the many and the few. And it has great performances from the four leads, as well as talk of flying monkeys, eggs, and orgasms. Well worth a look.

The film runs just short of two hours. Which reminds me... I've noticed that US films seem to be getting shorter, while European films seem to be getting longer. It used to be that 2 hours was the norm for American movies, and 90 minutes for Europe. That trend has now reversed. Does this says more about the ever-dwindling attention span of young Americans or about the ability of European film-makers to create a story more worthy of our time? Discuss.

Prison Break rocked!

For anyone even remotely interested in the TV show Prison Break, why not check out my six-line review, over at Six Line Reviews?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Whatever became of...?

Don't you just love those "Whatever Became Of...?" columns in magazines? Well, I do, and I'm gonna start my own right now. I know in the magazines they usually end up doing some research and telling the reader indeed what happened to the person(s) in question. I may or may not do that, depending on how much time I have on my hands. Anyway, here we go.

The first in my ongoing series is Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine.

Carter USM, as they were informally known, and sometimes just Carter, was a pair of sixth-form-looking motherfuckers with floppy stupid hair bringing their own brand of music to the masses. The music was almost an electronic post-punk kind of thing, with humour and a guitar.

The boys wrote quite witty lyrics, and some of their songs had quite witty titles: "The Only Living Boy in New Cross", for example, and "24 Minutes from Tulse Hill", to name but two of their tracks. But for me the duo is best remembered for their take on The Jam's "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight". The original is a rightly acknowledged classic pop song, and it's almost impossible to get the tune out of your head when you are, indeed, down in a tube station at or around midnight. Carter brought something fresh to it. They changed the feel considerably, and yet the brilliance of the track still shines through.

Anyways, that's all by the by. So, what became of Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine? How the fuck should I know?

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“C’mon! C’mon! Hurry up Harry, come on.”

I wanted to talk briefly about how glad I am that Sham 69 have a new record out. It's a bit of a shame that it's a World Cup song, but it beats that shitty fucking official Embrace effort by miles for terrace-singalong-ability. I mean, who doesn't want to sing it? "C'mon! C'mon!"

"Hurry Up Harry" must surely be one of the high points of the second wave of punk rock. And That's Life, from which it came, must surely be one of the greatest concept albums of all time. In fact, I've said it before and I'll say it again: I think Mike "The Streets" Skinner must have given That's Life more than its fair share of listenings when writing A Grand Don't Come For Free.

Okay, so perhaps the reworked "Hurry Up England" ain't quite "Hurry Up Harry", but I know what I'll be singing when it comes to football tunes over the next four weeks.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Me singing!

Sheesh, it seems like everyone is suddenly audio-blogging. And now that my competitive nature has been revealed, you all must have guessed that I'm just dying to get a piece of the action.

I shan't be inflicting la mia faccia upon y'all. ("Faccia's 'face', right?" Name that movie quote.) And not because I'm not gorgeous, because clearly I am, but simply because of the vague semblance of anonymity that I fool myself into believing I have. Truth is, of course, that anyone who knows me reasonably well will already have recognized me from my tattoos and the personal info I've shared. The other, and more practical, reason is that we have neither a webcam nor a digital camcorder here at casa d'asterisco. And since I have no immediate need for one, I won't be buying one.

Here, however, I will treat you to a bit of me singing. This is a track called "Kids' Night", from a demo made in 1990. Click here to listen to it, folks...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Competitive, moi?

So, arguably I hedged my bets a bit with the Six Line Reviews competition by entering five times.

Cooper King at 6LR has been a busy boy, and they are now all available for your viewing pleasure.

You can find them at Six Line Reviews or via the drop-down menu towards the top of my sidebar.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Haiku on breasts

I posted this as a (solicited) comment over at Meander's place, but I thought I'd keep a copy here, too, since this is kind of my creative scrapbook, or journal, or whatever else.

Breasts are lovely things.
They're fun to look at, play with,
And to kiss as well.


Sahms and wahms and wohms, oh my!

I look around at other blogs and stuff, and I see these acronyms everywhere. People who call themselves SAHMs and WAHMs and goodness knows what else. And I know what they mean mostly, I think.

"But," I found myself wondering, "where's my acronym?" Well, I don't have any children so I'm not anything ending with a D or an F. I do, however spend most of my time at home. And when at home, I'm usually working.

So I work at home and I have no kids. Perfect, I'm a WAHNK. That's just what I needed. I wish I'd never asked...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Palahniuk story

This is worth checking out for anyone with an interest in both Chuck Palahniuk and The Wicker Man, among other things. Enjoy.

I don't think it's from Haunted, but I haven't read my copy yet, so I don't know for sure...


You know what gets my goat...?

And I shouldn't even still be thinking about this, what with being an Internet competition winner and all (see below), but what really, really gets my goat is people using mobile phones while driving. Whether they are talking or texting, it's all the same to me. They are a fucking menace to society and should be shot in the face.

This morning I was driving behind such a driver. Every now and then he would veer into the middle of the road or towards the verge before snatching the car back into the middle of the lane. And as I got closer, I saw that this cunt had his phone in his left hand, waving it all about like the fucking über-cock that he obviously is, while at the same time scratching his head with his right hand. "Look, Ma - no hands!"

I confess that I have made or received a grand total of two very short calls while driving, and one of those was while I was sat at a red light. I don't like it. It makes me feel like I have no control of my vehicle. But there are some people who would argue that they are still fine driving while on the phone, just as they are after three or four pints, probably. Y'know, practice makes perfect. But these fuckwits shouldn't be allowed to "perfect" this dangerous art. Police: shoot them in the face. Or at the very least give them a £250 (US$465) on-the-spot fine and put five points on their licence.

It really gets my goat, it does.



I'm not really the bragging type, but... well, I WON THE SIX LINE REVIEWS COMPETITION! You remember, I urged you all to enter with my snazzy ticker-tape thing. Anyhoo, click on the pic below to read my WINNING Six Line Review of "Memories".

Thursday, June 01, 2006

HNT #2

Click here for today's Half-Nekkid Thursday pic of a freshly shaved pussy. I shaved it last night.

Why Half-Nekkid? Click the link in my sidebar to find out.

What a waste

According to IMDb yesterday, Warner Bros is planning to release 10 to 15 low-budget movies, mostly sequels or prequels, direct to DVD per year.

Now as if the seemingly endless spate of sequels is not already bad enough, Warner Bros is expected to focus on films (and therefore potential film franchises) that "performed relatively well at the box office but not well enough to warrant a theatrical sequel". Umm... get the message, Warner Bros: it's because no one wants to see them!

The first of these movies will be a follow-up to The Dukes of Hazzard.
I didn't see it. I think very few people did. And those who did were probably about as disappointed with it as I was with Starsky & Hutch. The Dukes sequel will not feature any of the original cast and will be made, as will others in this Warner brainwave, for $5 million or less.

I'll tell you what I do know. In Hollywood, you don't get a whole lotta movie for five mil. And they're gonna do this 10 to 15 times per year: making sequels that no one wants, of films that no one saw.

Here's a mathematical equation for you:

(a maximum of $5M) x (10 to 15 movies) = $50M+ per year

This is money that Warner Bros is throwing away. Sure, it's probably a tax write-off. But have they really got nothing better to do with their money?

What we really want, Warner Bros, is for you to invest that money into new talent: burgeoning film-makers would kill for a budget of $5M. For fuck's sake, Tarantino made Pulp Fiction, a complex, two-and-a-half-hour modern classic, for $7M (admittedly the value of the dollar has fallen somewhat since then). Smith made Clerks for $60,000 (including the costs of music rights); Rodriguez made El Mariachi for $7,000.

Five mil is a huge deal to a kid with nothing but love for the movies
and a shitload of talent, and Warners want to make The Dukes of Hazzard 2. Get off your fat corporate fucking asses and start looking to make something worth watching. Stone the crows and stop the world. Something just ain't right.

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