Sunday, March 30, 2008



Thursday, March 27, 2008

The death penalty

We don't have the death penalty in the UK anymore. The last man sent to the gallows over here was in 1964; the last woman, Ruth Ellis, in 1955.

Truthfully, the death penalty is an abhorrent idea.

But isn't it sometimes just necessary? Isn't it?

I don't often find myself between a rock and a hard place. But this does it to me every time. What to do?

I've spent some time here in recent weeks writing about the attacks on goth couple Sophie Lancaster and Robert Maltby. Both were kicked into a coma. She died. It seems only right that I keep documenting the story.

Two teenage boys have been found guilty in court of her murder. Here they are, on the right. I can't say I wish them anything other than death. I would like it to be a long, drawn-out, painful death.

I wish the same thing upon this chap, too, who so enjoyed killing his 24-year-old victim that he got his girlfriend to take pictures of him next to the corpse afterwards.

Can you really tell me, in the face of indisputable evidence, that there is any real alternative but to rid ourselves of such worthless specimens? They literally do not deserve to live.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter came and went

Spent most of the weekend working, if only to justify my not working on Tuesday, when, instead, I headed out to the tattooist for two and a half more hours of inkage. Looking rad it is, too. Above is a snippet.

On the subject of tattooing, I heard of the death of one of London's premier tattoo artists a few days ago. Jason Saga had been on my shortlist of artists for consideration when I was looking for a new tattooist about 18 months ago. I found Xam instead, since my wants shifted away from Japanese style and more towards old school. But Jason's site remained in my bookmarks. Upon hearing of his death, I also learned that his wife had occasionally worked as a receptionist at my old tattoo studio. I'd admired her sleeves, and she told me, "My boyfriend Jason did them." I never put two and two together, though, since there are a few Jasons tattooing in London.

This is a sad loss for tattooing, and for British tattooing in particular. Despite the growing popularity of the artform, those of us genuinely interested in getting good work from respected artists are still a fairly small, minority community.


Watched a few movies over the weekend. My list of movies still to review is ridiculous now. I think I'll have to cull some, write them off as too far in the past. Or maybe give them a sentence or two and a score.

Here's the list. Feel free to request a review or two!

The World's Fastest Indian
Who Killed the Electric Car?
the fountain
London to Brighton
An Inconvenient Truth
Clapham Junction
Notes on a Scandal
TV Junkie
Stage Beauty
The Warrior and the Princess (aka Princess and the Warrior)
Best Laid Plans
The King
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Since Otar Left
The Bridge
Where the Heart Is
Eight Below
The Notorious Bettie Page
Deep Water
Internal Affairs
A Scanner Darkly
Following Sean
The Closet
Il Caimano
9th Company
Torremolinos 73
Charlie Wilson's War
Planet Terror
The Battle for Haditha
The Passion of The Christ
The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Chicken Run

Labels: , , ,

Friday, March 21, 2008

There Will Be Blood

I can't remember a title of a film that so literally but unspectacularly promised what was forthcoming.

Click here, where There Will Be A Review.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I get my Easter stories all mixed up

But I know there's something about a Playboy bunny who laid too many chocolate eggs, so Hugh Hefner decreed that she be crucified until she comes back to life, generally two days later. Also, Mel Gibson videoed it all and added loads of blood and gore in postproduction. Heff and Mel are crazy!

Happy Easter to you all. And if you're a Playboy bunny, be careful who sees you laying chocolate. Peace out.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Captain Birdseye
Anthony Minghella
Arthur C Clarke.

It reminds me of that week when Benny Hill and Frankie Howerd died. Weird when shit happens all in a bunch.

Been real busy with work lately. It's all good. But it wasn't supposed to be a busy time, so I had made other plans: work meetings, periodontist, and a tattoo appointment. Still keeping them all, which of course makes for being even more busy.

At least we've got the long weekend to get on top of work while everyone else is busy stuffing their faces with chocolate eggs.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Oops, where did the time go?

We missed it... It was my second blogiversary on Tuesday 11 March. Oh well. Happy blogiversary to me, then, belated.

Thanks for being here, reading, commenting, sending rad gifts once in a while. It's been cool so far. Here's to the next one!

And if you've never left a comment before, why not break your silence now, just so I know you're out there. Cheers to you all.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Pop quiz winner

The person who was closest in my quiz, and pretty damn close at that, was Karen. She was correct that it was Edward Elgar, and she was also correct to say Hereford.

If I wanted to be nitpicky, I'd say it wasn't in the countryside; rather, it is almost the centre of the city, since the statue is in the grounds of the wonderful cathedral there. Well done, Karen. What do you win? Just the pride of knowing you're a winner. Isn't that enough?!

(But she knew he had a bicycle... I've got a feeling she had some inside information from somewhere!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dare to be different?

It's never been a huge amount of fun to dare to be different from the norm. While some people might be fascinated by skinny boys with earrings and makeup, others would rather kill what they don't understand, much as they would a spider or a snake.

So when kids get killed in Arkansas, in the Deep South of the United States, who better to blame it on than the loner kids who dress in black, listen to Metallica, and "worship" Satan? We all know the story of the West Memphis 3.

Or, putting the boot on the other foot, maybe we should think about the ongoing case against the five "children" in Bacup, Lancashire, who kicked and stamped Sophie Lancaster to death and left her boyfriend Robert Maltby in a coma (though he has since come out of it) because they dressed like goths. No other reason. Her face was stamped so forcefully that it bore footprints, and her gender was indiscernible from her face to the first paramedics to arrive.

What is the message here? Dress differently, buck the norm, and you will either be kicked to death or spend your life in prison probably wrongly accused.

As a young man in the late '80s and early '90s, I occasionally had to leave places pretty swiftly for fear of a kicking when wearing kilts and heavy makeup. I've been punched, kicked, or verbally abused at random for the look I was sporting at the time. Fortunately nothing more than that. I wanted to think that things might get better for people who dared to be different. Seems I was lucky to be born when I was. Who'd want to be an emo kid or goth these days? Dare to be different? Good luck to you.

Labels: , ,

Q: How much do dolphins rock?

A: A fucking lot, that's how much.

Just to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are the smartest animals on the planet, dolphins now seem to have taken on the task of rescuing less smart marine mammals from an inevitable death. Click here to see what the hell I'm on about.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The boys are back in town

Thanks to everyone for my birthday wishes. I had a good deal of fun, even though it was a tiring weekend and we had to make certain compromises regarding "the pox".

Here are the boys, in the heart of cow and cider country. So, who knows where they are, and who knows whom this statue depicts (just for fun, y'know)?

Labels: ,

Friday, March 07, 2008

I’m gonna party like it’s my birthday

Cos it's my motherfucking birthday, yo!

Off to cow and cider country this morning, so I'll catch y'all after the weekend.

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The decision...

Those who have been visitors for more than few minutes know that I'm not a total cunt. Sometimes I can be a bit of a cunt, but I'm pretty much not a total cunt.

So, the decision of whether or not to come clean to the B&Bs was a foregone conclusion before I even posted that post.

Not long after I posted, at just after 10am in fact, I called both B&Bs and put the conundrum to them. To my surprise and pleasure, they were both perfectly accommodating, so all is groovy. I still sort of feel there's an issue of "the world at large", so to speak, but the missus should be in a state of contagiousness rather than infectiousness by about now.

Like Glamourpuss, we too would rather not risk the karma. We're pretty good at trying to avoid doing anything that might have bad karmic repercussions, and yet somehow we don't always feel that karma has smiled as favourably upon as she might have, all things considered.

It makes you think, "I might as well just be a total cunt." At least that way it's no surprise when bad shit happens.

Labels: , , , , ,

A pox on you!

Those of you who go to my missus's blog will know that she has been diagnosed with chickenpox this week. We are proper gutted. She especially, obviously, because she's always tried to be über-careful, not socializing with any friends whose kids have not had it and that sort of thing.

We are doubly gutted because this coincides with my birthday weekend, and we are supposed to be going away to see my family, including our new three-month-old nephew. But now she won't be able to see the nephew cos he's too young to be exposed to the chickenpox virus.

And we are also wondering whether we ought to come clean with the B&Bs and/or restaurants that we have booked for the weekend. If I ran a B&B, I probably would not want someone staying if they had chickenpox...

That said, if we had gone last weekend, she would have been at least as contagious but nobody would have even known about it.

So, moral dilemma: should we come clean and risk being asked not to come? Or should we just go anyway and risk infecting anyone who comes near, just so we don't have to change our plans?

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Scrappy cats

The night before last, we noticed that Cat was limping (click his name to see what he says about the experience). He wasn't limping a lot, but I'm pretty observant when it comes to animal behaviour. One time, we had been at Red's mum's house about two minutes, straight off the plane, and I saw the cat and said, "She's got something wrong with her paw, I think her claws are too long," and sure enough one had grown so long that it had punctured her pad. Straight to the vet.

Anyways, back to our very own Cat. We took hold of him and tried gently squeezing his foot to see if it elicited any kind of reaction. Nothing, just an overbearing sense of "Fucking humans" on his part.

So we left it overnight, but there was no obvious improvement. Yesterday morning we ummed and aahed about whether or not to go to the vet, just to be on the safe side, eventually deciding to go.

The vet had a good look around and manipulated the leg in all possible ways, getting hissed at in the process. (Not by me.) And -- voilà! -- there he found a small cat bite resulting from one of the many fights Cat seems to get himself into. So now we're into antibiotics-land. Oh, the joy...

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Did I mention...?

It's my bloody birthday week this week, innit? Gonna be celebrating on Friday. 'Citing!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The NME Awards: my view

Well, where to start...?

The NME, for those who don't know, is a music paper. It's been around for decades and is a rite of passage for any teenager into music that is a little non-mainstream. It is, traditionally, the champion of the "indie" spirit; or at least it was, back when there were other weekly music papers. Now it's something of a loner out there in printed-medium land.

I am long since past the age of the target audience of the NME, and the lineups of nominees served to emphasize that. They also served to emphasize my feeling that British music is in a horrendous state. I still listen to music every day. (By "listen to music", I mean music that I choose, not simply what bombards me from the radio or some other passive means.) Much of the music I choose is new, too. In recent months, the wife and I have bought albums by Coheed & Cambria, Gallows, and The Used and have downloaded tracks by acts such as Atreyu. Admittedly, these are not very NME-friendly artists, being a bit more on the rock/metal end of the spectrum.

These artists are also very American (except for Gallows, of course, who are just back from their US tour, where they were even supported by Rise Against in Chicago; told you you should go, Candy!). And the NME prefers British music. But British music has become a limp, dull, grey piece of shit, populated by George Formby Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons, and other faceless blurg...

That said, this year's NME Awards gave me not one but two reasons to tune in. This is extremely rare.

Back in 1985 or thereabouts a schoolgirl friend of mine (for I was 15 at the time) lent me two records by an artist who still appears to this day on my list of "favourite music". His poetic lyrics set to a caustic solo electric guitar was truly music to my ears.

A few years later, the NME (for I too spent many years in that rite of passage) alerted me and my countryfolk to a band from a small town in Wales. Wales? That was a joke, right? I mean, nothing good comes out of Wales, save for the road to England. But the NME alerted us to this band only to pour scorn upon them. They were the music press's latest whipping boys, a laughing stock, a band that wanted to make one album, get to #1, and split up in a blaze of glory. They cited Public Enemy and Guns N' Roses as influences and sang words such as "I laughed when Lennon got shot" on their debut single, also provocatively titled "Motown Junk". They too would quickly become hugely important to me and are still, to this day, the band I have seen live more than any other.

The former was Billy Bragg; the latter, Manic Street Preachers. Both (at one time, at least) purveyors of lyrics with a message. Both heroes of mine. Both, all these years later, on the same televised music-awards show aimed at a new generation.

Billy Bragg was performing with a relative newcomer to the scene: Kate Nash. For me, seeing Bragg and Nash sing together was a deeply embarrassing affair. Nash writes some of the most horrendous lyrics known to man. She has tried and failed to capture some of the wit and style of The Streets and Lily Allen, but she has ended up sounding like French & Saunders doing a piss-take of that genre. And for Bragg to have fallen for her well-hidden charms is a huge shame in my book. The unholy pair performed a pseudo medley of her hit "Foundation" and his classic "A New England". Oh, why, Lord, why? Kate Nash is a fraudulent cunt, and Bragg must be a fool for not realizing.

And the Manics were given the Godlike Genius award. Yeah, they were godlike geniuses. Once. The year was 1994. The album was The Holy Bible. That's when they were godlike geniuses. After that, it all slowly started to turn to shit, both for them and for those of us who followed them. After getting their award they played some songs. On TV they showed two of these: the epic "Motorcycle Emptiness" from the 1991 debut album; and the fucking godawful "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough" from 2007. These days, even the former sounded shit, slowed down and, seemingly, played in a slightly lower key, reducing its power considerably. Both the NME and the Manics seem happy to sweep their previous incompatibilities under the rug of history. I am not so forgetful.

What do people say: "You can never go back"? Yeah, I think that sounds about right.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Who links to me?